Arts & Extras: Film paperwork husband’s travels to maintain late spouse’s book alive | Leisure



Filmmaker Phil Wall and attorney Dick Wall went on a nationwide book tour to promote Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening, a treatise by the late Roanoke writer Carol Wall, Phil’s mother and Dick’s wife. Phil documents their journey in the award-winning documentary “The Book Keepers”.



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The editors at Penguin Random House emailed Roanoke writer Carol Wall in July 2013. The message said the changes to her memoir were ready for review. The publisher needed her to respond to all comments and questions within seven days.

Her husband, Roanoke attorney Dick Wall, forwarded the email to his son Phil, adding, “This could be a problem.” Carol Wall’s cancer had reached her brain.

The author’s debut, “Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening,” hit the press on time and was greeted with good reviews in Good Housekeeping, The New York Times, People Magazine, and Oprah.com in March 2014 – yes, this Oprah. But Carol was too sick to advertise her book. She died in December of that year.

Her husband went on a book tour in her place, and Phil Wall, a filmmaker, traveled with his father. Earlier this month, the resulting film, The Book Keepers, won the Audience Award for Best Documentary and the Jury Award for Best Documentary at the Austin Film Festival in Texas.

“When I spoke to the people at the festival, they absolutely told me that it was rare to win both of them,” said Phil Wall, 36. “It’s nice that the industry and the audience are in agreement.”

The film is “a recording of a trip I took with my father who took it upon himself to promote my mother’s first book,” he said. Her book “Should Be This Success For Her”, with a massive marketing campaign behind it.

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