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Manteca author plans book signing on Saturday

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Manteca author plans book signing on Saturday

Manteca resident and children's book author Kim Laruta will have a book-signing event for "That Sister of Mine" beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Book Exchange, 332 N. Main St.

VINCE REMBULAT/The Bulletin


POSTED January 22, 2009 11:40 p.m.
Kim Laruta was overwhelmed the first time she saw the finished product of “That Sister of Mine.”

The bounded children’s book from Tate Publishing and Enterprises released last month had been the brainchild of the Manteca resident dating back to 2000.

“I was so happy seeing the book finally completed,” said Laruta, who will have a book-signing event beginning at 11 a.m. at the Book Exchange in Manteca, 332 N. Main St. “It’s a special feeling to see your name on the cover of a book.”

Laruta was a stay-at-home mom when she first set out on the project, using her two children as her inspiration.

At the time, Thomas, 12, and Gabrielle, 11, were both under 5.

“I used to observe how the two played and interacted,” Laruta said.

Her son still remembers in some detail those days of dealing with “Sissy,” Gabrielle’s nickname.

“She remembers too and laughs about it,” Laruta said.

She also noted that writing about the experience of her kids during that time actually served as a creative outlet.

Her husband, Rafael, who is employed at a school district in San Ramon, has been supportive of her endeavor as a writer. The local couple also have a 9-year-old son, Andy, who arrived to the family shortly after the book was written.

Kim Laruta, who grew up on the East Bay, was encouraged by an English teacher to pursue writing during her high school days. But like any typical teenager, she dismissed the notion and, instead, started a family shortly after graduation.

But it would be those in her own family steering her back to the written language.

The book, “That Sister of Mine,” was recently released nationally, and can be found at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Target and Amazon.com, to name a few.

She also found an illustrator in Eddie Russell. “Eddie and I were on the same page (for the book),” Laruta said.

What’s next?

She hopes to have published some of her inspirational poetry.

For now, Kim Laruta is happy being a wife, mother, chidren’s book author and the lunch lady at Weston Ranch High.

In fact, her colleagues at the Manteca Unified site were so thrilled about the new children’s book by one of their own that they circulated flyers around campus to advertise the book-signing event.

“The school has been so supportive of me,” Laruta said.

Children’s author or not, she’s still the lunch lady to these high schoolers.

Kim Laruta has plenty to smile about these days.

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