CAROL WALL’s first book, MISTER OWITA’S GUIDE TO GARDENING (Putnam, Amy Einhorn Books) was published to critical acclaim in March 2014. Her work received early accolades in People Magazine, Good Housekeeping, USA Today, Oprah.com, and the New York Times Book Review, along with the coveted starred review in Publishers Weekly. But she was too sick to enjoy the fanfare of publication day. Her breast cancer had returned for the third time in 2012, as she was finishing the first round of edits on the manuscript. Carol died in December 2014, nine months after publication, without being able to make even one appearance to promote her book. One week after her death, MISTER OWITA’S GUIDE TO GARDENING was named one of the Best Books of 2014 by USA Today and AARP.
Following the advice of Carol’s superstar agent, Marly Rusoff, and with the guidance of publicist Kathie Bennett of Magic Time Literary Publicity, Carol’s husband, DICK WALL, set out on a national tour promoting the book. Since the summer of 2015, he has made over 200 appearances in 27 states, speaking to book groups, women’s groups, library supporters, hospice groups, church groups, and community organizations—with dates booked through 2018 and 2019.
Now, in addition to spreading the life-affirming messages of Carol’s book, Dick is touting the inspirational documentary film in-progress directed by Phil Wall (34), youngest of the three Wall children and a filmmaker living in Brooklyn. Phil’s film, THE BOOK KEEPERS, derives its title from Carol’s directive to her son in the final months of her life. “You take care of our book,” Carol told Phil. In response to his mother’s request, Phil has crafted a story about his father’s unlikely journey of healing, the lessons learned about living “Plan B,” and finding love after loss.
In the film, Phil interweaves his father’s presentations with intimate moments of the two of them on the road and at home. Often poignant and sometimes humorous, the film is visually and emotionally compelling. Selected by the Southern Documentary Fund for fiscal sponsorship in 2016, the film wrapped production in December 2017. Announced as a grand-prize winner of Seed&Spark’s “100 Days of Optimism” crowdfunding rally, Phil successfully raised $26,250. The prize also garnered the film a marketing partnership with WeTransfer valued at $50,000, which includes creative services and a marketing campaign after the film is in distribution. The project is in post-production, and Phil is getting it ready for film festival submissions.
Dick Wall is a 1974 graduate of Vanderbilt University and a 1977 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law. He has practiced law for forty years and is a former high school basketball coach. He was married to Carol Wall for forty-two years and they have three children and five grandchildren. Dick married Teresa George in November 2017. They had met in a grief support group for those who had suffered highly publicized losses. Teresa’s husband, Jeff, a gifted heart surgeon, and their only daughter Hannah (age 15), were killed in an automobile accident in 2008.
Dick is available for special appearances, speaking events, book signings, and media interviews to discuss topics related to the book, the tour, and the documentary.
Learn more about MISTER OWITA’S GUIDE TO GARDENING at www.misterowita.com.
Learn more about the documentary at bookkeepers.movie.