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How This Book Came to Be
On the day Roxanne Bouché Overton decided to upload a photograph to the internet, she had no idea how far it would travel or who would notice it. Two thousand miles away, Sam Stapleton saw the image --- a man sitting in a comfortable chair, while on the sidewalk next to him a second, empty chair waited, begging to be filled by whomever you might imagine. Other viewers had already commented on the most likely interpretations --- a wife of many years, best friend, etc. --- so Sam dug a little deeper to find a story that others had not seen. That’s when it occurred to him that all great photos have a multitude of stories, some of them obvious and some less so. Intrigued by the possibilities, he asked Roxanne to share more of her street photos with him, allowing him the chance to discover and to write the not-so-obvious stories they might contain. Never mind that Sam and Roxanne had never met, had never even spoken to one another, or that their sole point of contact had been the sharing of a few online compliments about one another’s photography. Roxanne was surprised but intrigued, flattered, and more than a little amused; she immediately gathered her images into two portfolios, shared them with Sam, and he began writing. In four months he wrote the stories that they then edited down to the two-dozen contained in this book. Sam proposed a book layout, Roxanne designed a cover, and together they constructed the book, pairing each image with the improbable story it had inspired. In 120 days, two former strangers living on opposite ends of the country exchanged 200+ e-mails, created a new work of art that was greater than the sum of its parts and birthed an even greater friendship. So that’s how this book came to be --- through the natural story of mutual trust, inspiration and hard work. But feel free to write your own fanciful narrative and share it with us. There are often many more wonderful truths than the obvious one.