Bookmarks Presents Winston-Salem Native Austin Highsmith Garces on May 29
WINSTON SALEM, N.C. (May 23, 2019) – Bookmarks is excited to present Winston-Salem native, children’s book author and actor Austin Highsmith Garces on May 29, 2019 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Bookmarks bookstore at 634 W. Fourth St. #110 in Winston-Salem. Garces will be on hand to sign her new book, The Miracle Tree, and take photos with fans. The Miracle Tree will be available for purchase at Bookmarks.
The Miracle Tree is the first title in a planned series of children’s books focused on helping children dealing with chronic illnesses, disabilities and the fear and uncertainty surrounding long-term hospital stays while maintaining a positive and hopeful mindset.
Based on the author’s true-life experiences, the book is about a young girl who is diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening illness that requires emergency surgery – Garces herself was a patient at Winston-Salem’s own Brenner Children’s Hospital in her own story – in the week before the Christmas holiday. As the girl struggles to overcome her fear amidst the unfamiliar environment of the hospital, her family comes together in a powerful show of perseverance and faith, culminating in the father’s unforgettable encounter with a magical tree that transforms the family’s life forever.
“It is such an honor to bring this book to my hometown where the whole story began, and to share the story of my personal miracle to inspire children experiencing their own struggles,” said Garces.
An award-winning actress, writer, producer, and disability rights advocate, Garces came up with the idea for the book following her acting work as dolphin trainer Phoebe in the critically acclaimed “Dolphin Tale” film series. Appointed as a goodwill ambassador for the Florida based Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home to the real-life dolphin featured in the film, she witnessed firsthand the challenges that the disabled and chronically ill young people who were inspired by the movie faced as they navigated an overwhelming medical system. She recognized the vital need for hope amidst their adversity.
Bookmarks is a literary nonprofit organization that fosters a love of reading and writing in the community. The programming connects readers with authors and books and is achieved through the largest annual book festival in the Carolinas (which will be held September 5–8); an Authors in Schools program, which reaches 9,000 students annually; and year-round events in their gathering space and nonprofit independent bookstore located at 634 W. Fourth Street #110. Visit bookmarksnc.org for more information.
About Austin Highsmith Garces
Austin Highsmith Garces is an actress/producer/writer/author/illustrator born in Winston-Salem, NC who now lives in Los Angeles, CA. Sharing her story about her childhood illness is important to her because she has been afforded the opportunity to visit children in various hospitals and felt connected to their journeys. She wants the children in the hospital, and all kids going through struggles, to see themselves in her story and find hope for a great life in spite of their current hardships. She also hopes to demystify the hospital experience for children to make it a less scary experience whether they’re visiting a loved one or spending time in the hospital themselves. Austin currently lives in LA with her husband Teddy Garces and hopes to continue telling stories to inspire children and their parents.