Butler County Times Gazette
  • Chance meeting leads to publication

  • Author and illustrator agree the book was "meant to be."
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  • Jamie Tullis knew she wanted her children's Christmas story published, but she had no illustrations and didn't know the process in making it a reality.
    Tullis grew up and attended school in Baxter Springs, Kan. She taught K-12 grades and Special Education in the Chetopa district. Life brought her joy in being a mother and sadness in the illness and death of a husband.
    The idea for her book came to her during her husband's illness, but put the idea of a book on hold, as she was unaware of the steps into publishing.
    She has retired from teaching and is now married to John F. Tullis, and they moved to rural Augusta almost three years ago.
    A chance meeting with local artist and gallery owner Annette Boardman brought her closer to making her book possible. The two women were at the same place having routine oil changes on their vehicles when they met.
    "We spoke about both being teachers and I mentioned that I had a book that needed illustrations. She gave me her name and phone number, but I ended up losing the information," Tullis explained.
    Some time went by and Tullis had some artwork that had belonged to a sister-in-law who had recently died, and wanting to more about the art pieces, she decided to drop by the art gallery in Augusta. She had no idea it belonged to Boardman, the woman she had met previously.
    Immediately upon seeing the gallery owner, Tullis exclaimed, "I think I know you!"
    Both the author and the illustrator agree that the book was "meant to be."
    Boardman explained that this was her first venture at book illustration and she thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Some of the illustrations came to her easily and some not so easily.
    "Not sure you're ever done - even when it's in print you always think of other things you could have included," she said.
    Rudolph, I Think You Need Glasses! is a fun story and can be enjoyed by all ages. The synopsis on the back cover includes, "When Rudolph ends up in a snowdrift, Santa realizes that he is going to need help. Will Santa get Rudolph the help he needs in time for Christmas Eve?"
    The author will be sharing her book at local schools and a book signing is planned at Cooper Drug on Thursday, Dec. 6, following the downtown Christmas parade. Copies are also on sale at the Open Arts Door Fine Art Studio & Gallery, 709 N. State.

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