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Publicist’s local ties bring book tour to Andalusia

The story behind how Dick Wall came to be scheduled for a book signing in Andalusia next week is almost as interesting as Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening.

Kathie Clemons Bennett is a publicist who promotes the work of about 40 authors. Her social media feed is filled with photographs of book signing events at places large and small, and authors’ names readers will recognize: Mary Kaw Andrews. Alice Monroe, Steve Hamilton, Cassandra King.

“My beloved grandfather was from Andalusia,” she said via phone on Tuesday. “I love Andalusia and it was a big part of my childhood. Andalusia is like on the top of my map of places I want to bring my authors,” she said.

Her maternal grandfather was Rodney Bernard Wells Sr.

“You know Mike Wells? Ashton? Ralph? They’re all my cousins. Suzanne Boyington is my cousin. I haven’t been in Andalusia in a long time, but I will be there for this event next week.”

Bennett said she is enamored by Wall’s book.

“The book and the inspiration for the writing of the book is why we garden,” she said. “It’s a story for the soul. “

Initially, when Bennett was asked to help promote the book, she declined.

“Then I thought, ‘If I cannot do this for this sweet husband, something is wrong with my life.’ ”

Since that time, she’s helped Dick Wall done 222 keynotes in 27 states on behalf is his wife and her book.

The book signing and reception are set for 5:30 until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11, at the Lower Alabama Arts Coalition’s The Gallery, 209 East Three Notch.