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Fri, July 19

4 authors share life inspirations at weekend book signing extravaganza

The Daily Courier file photo<br>Frank Shankwitz, 
founder of the 
Make-A-Wish foundation.

The Daily Courier file photo<br>Frank Shankwitz, founder of the Make-A-Wish foundation.

For book lovers of all kinds, the weekend of March 25 and March 26 is likely to offer a treat like no other: four men of different ages, backgrounds and specialties — an actor, businessman, professor and retired homicide detective — will share their unexpected life journeys that led them to work to benefit others and write books intended to inspire people to follow their dreams.

Two of these authors live in the area: Frank Shankwitz, a retired homicide detective and co-founder of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, who wrote the book “Wishman,” lives in Prescott; Paul Gersper, author of “Love Letters from the Grave,” and professor emeritus from the University of California at Berkeley lives in Prescott Valley.

The other two authors are Matt Gersper of Lake Norman, North Carolina, the founder and chief executive officer of Happy Living and author of “The Belief Road Map” and “Turning Inspiration into Action; “ and actor Scott Barry of San Francisco, author of “The Greener the Grass.”

These four men will meet together for the first time at this event that will enable them to entertain and share their insights and stories with readers, as well as sign books, at four different venues.

The first is scheduled at 9 a.m. at the Stoneridge Community Center in Prescott Valley on Saturday, March 25, and the second will be at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Peregrine Bookstore in Prescott. On Sunday, March 26, the authors will host events at 9 a.m. at the Hassayampa Inn in Prescott and at 3 p.m. at the Palace Saloon in Prescott.

This “magical” weekend will bring together “four very different men, each on incredibly different life journeys, to work together, helping others create more meaningful, successful, and happy lives,” said a news release from the authors and event sponsor “Happy Living.”

“Each man was inspired on his own journey in a very different way: In his late 20s, on a total whim, the actor (Scott Barry of San Francisco, California) was cast in his first play and fell instantly in love with theatrical writing and performing. At the age of 51, the businessman (Matt Gersper) was struck by a dinner conversation with an old high school buddy. A complete stranger encouraged the homicide detective (Shankwitz) to begin an exciting career that he never dreamt of — at the age of 68 no less. For the professor (Gersper), his inspiration was found in a box of love letters he discovered when he was 75 years old,” the Happy Living news release said.

“Was it the inspiration that transformed the lives of these four men, or, rather, was it their intention and bold commitment to turn their inspirations into actions?”

To answer those questions, local readers are invited to come and meet these authors to find out more about their motivations to give back to others and how that translated into their printed stories.

For more information about the event, visit the sponsor at

Information from Happy Living.


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