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Turning one Spanish Fork man’s story into a children’s book

By Bryce Steven Banks My father, Ray H. Banks, grew up in and currently resides in Spanish Fork. He has led an exemplary life, loved and respected by countless people that he has associated with in his 88 years. A few years ago, he and my mother took the time to leave a legacy for their posterity by writing and publishing their autobiographies.

When reading his 400-plus page autobiography, it is clear that my father is a meticulous record-keeper who has lived a full life. In a world of ever-shortening attention spans, I was fearful that my father’s younger posterity might not have access to my father’s experiences and insights in the original format, so I decided to take several episodes from his life and write a children’s book.

Fortunately, I discovered that recent technological advances have made self-publishing a relatively easy and inexpensive option. Amazon has a company called createspace that provides all the tools and services needed to complete a book. You just write up the story on a word processor and load it into the templates provided.

Images are easily uploaded. In my case I didn’t have all the photos needed to tell the story, so I went online to hire a freelance illustrator. Very affordable and easily done. I found my illustrator at upwork.com. I just posted that I would need 15 illustrations for a children’s book and stated the price that I was willing to pay. If an artist is interested they will contact you, let you look over their portfolios and/or give you a sample of their work. I received offers from around the world and was very pleased with the finished product. No money is paid out until you are satisfied. Once complete, the book is stored on computers and printed on demand. You can order as many copies for yourself as you would like at a great discount. You can also let Amazon handle sales and receive a small commission each time a book is sold.

The book blurb describes the story this way: “Ray finds himself in a speech class and experiences stage fright. A wise teacher works with him to overcome it with surprisingly good results. An inspirational story for all of us who dread speaking in front of an audience. True story.” The story is my father’s and took place in Spanish Fork schools in the 1940s. Old-timers will recognize the “wise teacher” as B. Davis Evans, who taught school in Spanish Fork for 36 years and for 20-plus years was known for his weekly “Around the Town” column in the Spanish Fork Press.