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While local authors Rachel McClellan and Linda Gatewood were busy signing copies of their books at Barnes & Noble bookstore in Idaho Falls Saturday, both authors agree that the electronic book age has changed the traditional book business.
Sales were brisk for McClellan, a Rigby native, as she signed copies of her young adult novel "Fractured Light," the first in a trilogy about a teenager who has the ability to manipulate light.
McClellan was inspired to write when she traveled to Ireland in 2007, fulfilling her mother's dream of visiting the land of her ancestors.
"Maybe it was one of my mother's pesky ghost relatives who possessed me with all the strange story ideas," McClellan joked.
Gatewood, who took up writing novels after raising seven children, signed copies of her novel "Winter Secret," the first in a series called "Four Seasons To Choose."
"Once my kids were grown, I decided to take time for myself and write books," Gatewood said.
"Winter Secret" is an adult novel...starting at Idaho's own Crater's of The Moon and moving with romance and suspense through Sun Valley, Houston and Washington D.C.
When asked their thoughts about the electronic book age, both writers believe that there will always be a place for hardback books, but that that technology and the "e- book" has helped them market their books in ways that weren't possible before.
McClellan said she recently did a poll on her blog asking readers if they preferred
"book or Nook." "It was about 50/50," she said. "People still love the feel and smell of real books."
She went on, "It's important for people to continue to buy books and build personal libraries, but there may be a day when even public libraries go all digital...it's bound to happen."
Gatewood said that the digital age has opened doors for her book, allowing it to be read by thousands of people who may not have otherwise even heard about it.
"I love the new age - it hasn't hurt books...it's helped," Gatewood said. "I recently 'Googled' my book and found that it has been electronically translated into seven different languages.
"People from foreign countries can buy my books on E-bay," she added. "This is something that just couldn't be done before..."
Regardless of technology, authors are on the same page when they say "that there is no substitute to getting into the bookstores and having personal interaction with the readers."
McClellan, who is living in Rhode Island temporarily, said she has been enjoyed being back in Idaho meeting readers and reuniting with family and friends. She plans to move back to Blackfoot, where she has a home, when her husband completes his education in 2013.
Gatewood, who currently lives in a rural area outside of Blackfoot, is looking forward to upcoming book signings in Boise and Houston.