‘Fresh Snow on Bedford Falls’ virtual book talk is Nov. 23 – Ames Tribune

G.L. (Garry) Gooding spent some of his early years in Iowa and now resides in Ohio. He will give a virtual book talk of his latest work “Fresh Snow on Bedford Falls” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 23, through the Ericson Public Library in Boone. 
The book is an award-winning historical mystery novel that picks up where the classic film “It’s a Wonderful Life” ends.
Registration is required at www.boone.lib.ia.us/events or on the library’s Facebook page under “events.” Participants will receive an email reminder with the Zoom link.
At the end of his talk, which is expected to run 30-45 minutes, one person will be chosen in a drawing to win $50 in Boone Bucks that may be used at participating Boone Chamber of Commerce businesses. Participants must register to receive the Zoom link and view the entire talk to be eligible for the drawing.
Ericson Public Library Librarian Candy Noelck said she hopes this book talk will be the perfect kickoff to the holiday season. Last month, the library hosted Gooding for a virtual talk about his book “Where Courage Began” the first of four books that center on his mother’s life and legacy. That book focuses on Velma Gooding’s rural Iowa upbringing, having been born in Granger. She lived to be 102 and resided in Springfield, Illinois, at the time of her death.
“He’s a really genuine man. He did a talk about his mother and family growing up in the Perry area, and was a tribute to her,” Noelck said.
Gooding said just as he decided to transition from writing for business to writing for pleasure, he began losing his eyesight. He ultimately lost central vision in both eyes. His wife Sarah assists him.
Gooding has watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” countless times growing up and as an adult.
“It was a labor of love from years of viewing the movie every Christmas, and having this story going through my head about what happened after the happily ever after ending of the movie,” he said. “My goal was to honor a great movie and give it a little more depth, which you can deal with more in a book than you can in a movie.”
In the film, the townspeople of Bedford Falls rally to raise $8,000 to save George Bailey from scandal. But Gooding’s book answers the question, what happened next? It’s the beginning of 1947, and a bank examiner opens an investigation to find out what really happened to the money that went missing when Uncle Billy didn’t make the bank deposit. Gooding said a string of mysteries unravel, and readers will learn more about the life of Bailey’s nemesis Mr. Potter, who is known for being a curmudgeon.
Gooding said despite the book being classified as a mystery, he hopes readers find it uplifting and allow for some “food for thought.”
“It goes well beyond the money: it goes into lives that were changed forever,” he said.
The book won Best Historical Mystery from the Southern California Book Publicist.
Noelck said the library has been pleased to see attendance of its virtual events rise steadily since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Programs have reached people from across the United States and Canada. She said the library is not experiencing a lot of traffic for in-house programming for adults. Its monthly book discussion group meets at 7 p.m. at the library every third Tuesday. The library provides copies of the books that may be checked out. Registration is required for book discussions only if you plan to attend via Zoom.
“You can’t make people attend, and you want people to be comfortable,” she said of the library’s efforts. “We’re just trying to accommodate people.”
The library is also offering curbside delivery service.
To view more upcoming events, visit the library’s website, www.boone.lib.ia.us.