JEFFERSONVILLE, Ohio — A mother and daughter went to an outlet mall in Jeffersonville for something they’ve been planning for months, not to buy any clothes, but to sell their own books.

What You Need To Know

  • A mother and daughter created a book fair to showcase independent Ohio authors

  • Theresa Garee got her start as an author to explain her daughter’s skin condition to the kids at her school

  • The book fair is Saturday, June 4 at Destination Outlets in Jeffersonville from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The duo from Pickerington created a new book fair for independent authors from across Ohio.

Theresa Garee of Pickerington got her start as an author when her daughter, Nakota, started seeing spots on her skin and the kids at school started asking questions. It was Vitiligo, a skin condition, and was something Theresa and her family knew little about. Nakota’s classmates were curious, too.

A boy asked Theresa about it when she visited Nakota’s school.

“He turned to me and said, ‘how come Nakota’s got all those spots?’” Garee said. “I realized in that moment that I was sending my child to school to deal with that question every day by herself.”

Nakota was shy around her classmates.

“I was kind of covered up. I didn’t really talk and be myself, so I was just kind of in my own world,” said Nakota.

Theresa sat down and wrote the book and drew the pictures.

“So, I’m not the best artist, but my goal with this book was to picture Nakota exactly as her Vitiligo spots were when I wrote the book,” Garee said.

It took her a full year to get everything together. But that was just the beginning.

“We were able to join a lot of Facebook groups with other parents who had a lot of the same questions and those groups therefore helped push our book to more people,” Garee said.

After she learned the process of self-publishing, Garee set to work on two more books for kids, collaborating with Ohio artist Kat Hudson.

Despite selling hundreds of copies online, Theresa had trouble getting into book fairs that were biased toward authors with traditional publishers, so she had an idea.

“I realized a lot of self-published authors have to do their promotional work themselves,” she said. “And I thought why not take it a step further, so self-published authors could get their books out to the public?”

Destination Outlets agreed to host the fair, and Theresa put together a variety of authors from all across Ohio, sharing their memoirs, children’s books and more.

“There’s a lot of mystery and horror and things like that, so it’s going to be fun to see all the different authors come together with their genres and I’m really excited to get to know all of them,” she said.

The book fair is Saturday, June 4 at Destination Outlets in Jeffersonville from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, vistit the book fair Facebook event page.