SYLACAUGA, Ala. – President Harry S. Truman once said, “All readers aren’t leaders, but all leaders are readers.” Through writing children’s books, Sylacauga’s Teresa Conville is looking to raise up younger generations and inspire them to be the best people they can be.

Teresa Conville was born, raised, and has spent her entire life in the Marble City. She has worked in many fields from dentistry, medicine, education and more. But Friday, Conville will add the title of  “author” to her list.

Friday, Conville will host a book signing at Cuppa Grace in Sylacauga as she releases her first children’s book. The book, Mystery of the Little Red Suitcase, will be the first of six children’s books she has planned for a series titled the “Traveling Teresa Series”.

Conville spent 25 years in the local school system helping with reading and art, and worked in the library. This is where her passion for helping children began. Her passion was is helping and encouraging children to care, be kind, and love each other.

Conville’s desire to write children’s books merged with her passion for traveling, and it became even stronger when she retired from the in 2014. In 2009, she began to to share her “Little Red Suitcase” travel stories on Facebook. Soon enough, Conville earned the nickname “Traveling Teresa” and even had a doll made with the name. Whenever Teresa traveled, the doll and the suitcase came along, making trips to Europe, Cozumel, St. Thomas and Grand Cayman.

The stories written by Conville began to come alive, and today have birthed into a book series.

But how did Conville get to the point of getting a book published? Local author Decorey Hale put her in touch with a brand stylist in Atlanta where the two hammered out the ideas for the books. “When I retired in 2014 the thought of writing these stories got more serious, and I know this was something I wanted to do,” Conville said. “We got the story out, and we’ve been working on it since February.”

The series will feature chapter books based on travel and treating others with respect. “I hope these stories will make a difference,” said Conville. “I want to help make the world a better place. I want people to care about each other, hug, smile and just be kind.”

The process of getting these stories in book form has been challenging and Conville admits she had to step out of comfort zone to get the stories on paper. “This process has been wonderful, and I hope to make a real difference,” she said. “I am trying to touch on the things that affect children’s lives. It was very hard to step out of my comfort zone, but I am glad I did.”

You can get your copy of Mystery of the Little Red Suitcase Friday at Cuppa Grace from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. as Conville will be there signing the books. You can pre-order the book www.travelingteresa.com.

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