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Portion of proceeds from books set in Macon to benefit library, park

Reformed monsters lurk at the library -- a sanctuary for werewolves, a vampire and other creatures -- in a new book set at Macon’s Washington Memorial Library.

“My Boss is a Vampire: Stories from the Library Volume One” is the newest release by Macon attorney John Carter, who moonlights as a children’s author.

Carter also has penned verse for “The Frogs of Tattnall Square Park,” a book with artwork from various local artists that’s set for release late this year or early in 2015. All proceeds from that book will go toward efforts to rebuild a fountain in the park.

Meanwhile, Carter is donating 20 percent of profits from “My Boss is a Vampire” to the library.

As a child, Carter spent most afternoons after school at the library while his mother worked.

Then, while attending high school at Mount de Sales Academy and college at Mercer University, he worked in the library for a couple years.

About half of his employment was under the supervision of a children’s librarian who projected an “unapproachable” aura and kept workers on their toes.

Carter recalls how library staff joked that she was a “psychic vampire” because her age wasn’t in the computer.

His memories served as inspiration for the book, which tells the tale of a boy who gets a job at the library and later discovers the librarian, his boss, is a vampire. The boy then helps save the library from a monster hunter who hides out in a Rose Hill Cemetery crypt and tunnels his way up Poplar Street to the library.

“This has been in the back of my mind for a long time,” said Carter, also the author of the “Eli Arnold and the Keys to Forever” children’s book series.

Library employees who have read the book have enjoyed noticing similarities between characters and familiar library personalities, said Sandra French, the current children’s librarian.

The book also contains references to a large circus tent. The tent towered over bookshelves and created a fun place for children to read for many years until a recent renovation.

With parents and grandparents who grew up coming to the library now bringing in their own children, “we’ve got generations waiting to read it,” French said.

FOUNTAIN TO BE ‘CROWNING JEWEL’ OF RESTORATION

In 1914, a large cast iron fountain sat in the middle of Tattnall Square Park, nestled across the road from Mercer University and Alexander II Magnet School.

But in the 1960s, after the fountain had stopped working, it was removed -- along with the clusters of metal frogs that sat at its base, said Andrew Silver, chairman of Friends of Tattnall Square Park.

Water still flows from a similar fountain from the same time period at the corner of Cherry and Third streets.

Friends of Tattnall Square Park has received an $80,000 John S. and James L. Knight Foundation grant to pay for the installation of a fountain but needs $200,000 for the fountain itself, Silver said.

A salvage worker who helped remove the 1914 fountain kept one of the frogs and gave it to his son. The son now is allowing the frog to be used by an Alabama foundry to make copies for the new fountain.

To help in the fundraising, Carter wrote a story using the frogs as the characters. Local artists are providing illustrations.

Readers of “The Frogs of Tattnall Square Park” will go on a trip through history with the 13 frogs as they witness important events of the park’s past.

Among other scenes, frogs see Union Army troops camp in the park during the Civil War, the original fountain’s construction, the desegregation of the park and Mercer University’s involvement in the area’s improvements, Carter said.

Silver said the fountain will be “the crowning jewel of the park’s restoration.”

He said he hopes to have the fountain funded and installed by next fall.

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