Iles’ signing benefits Trinity School

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 14, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Greg Iles made his mark at Trinity Episcopal Day School Saturday, signing books to raise money for the school.

&uot;The Footprints of God,&uot; his new book, will be released Tuesday, but many fans received their copies Saturday as part of the special book signing.

Iles’ publisher gave him special permission to release these 740 books early to the public because the book signing was a charitable one.

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So many people wanted this book in fact, there were none left. What few were ordered in addition to the reserved books sold out within minutes.

For four years, Iles has signed his latest release at Trinity. People order them in advance and pick them up at the signing. Some are pre-signed beforehand while others are signed by Iles on the spot.

The money the school raised is the difference paid between what the publisher’s cost of the book is and the retail sale price.

Head of school Delecia Carey said this fundraiser will bring in thousands of dollars to the school.

&uot;I’ve never heard of any author doing this,&uot; Carey said, at least not in Natchez. &uot;Mainly he does it as a gift to the school.&uot;

But Iles said it is a way for him to give back to the school that taught him to be a writer.

&uot;I feel I owe this place a lot for what I got out of it,&uot; he said.

Still a Natchez resident, Iles’ two children attend Trinity now.

Iles said he is fortunate to be in a position where he can help the school like this because it &uot;takes everyone&uot; to fund private education in a town as small as Natchez.

And his favorite part of signing the books &045; the people he gets to see that he has not seen in years.

Many avid readers turned out Saturday to talk to Iles personally and get their books signed. Ferd Godbold has them all and lives down the street from Iles’ parents.

Irma Moore has read all of the books, too, and seen his movie, &uot;Trapped.&uot; Moore’s grandson played soccer for Iles when he coached one year.

Moore said she comes to the signings to talk to Iles and to support the school. But she said she admires Iles for giving back to the community, spending time with the local children and being so down to earth.

Traci Lang just moved to Natchez and bought four books, getting each one signed for Christmas presents.

&uot;We think it’s neat to say we go to Greg Iles’ book signings,&uot; Lang said.