An American author who is said to have a love for ‘authors, cars and cigars,’ is the first to hold a book signing in Cuba since the death of Fidel Castro in November 2016.
“My name is Carew Papritz, I live both in the Seattle area in the Northwest and Arizona area," Papritz said. "So I have the wonder of being all throughout the West here."
Papritz’s book is called The Legacy Letters, an inspirational fiction book. The Legacy Letters is a series of letters written by a father to his children that he will never live to see.
“These letters ultimately become their practical, moral and spiritual guidebook for the rest of their life," Papritz said. "We don’t know when the book was written because they are private letters. And when the kids grow up with these letters, and become adults, they decide they want to give 40 of the over 200 letters to the world."
Papritz wanted to find a different way to take the central message of his book, of living life to the fullest, and walk his talk.
“As part of what I do to inspire that fiction around the world is I do book signings in unusual places and under unusual circumstances, such as on top of volcanoes, the back of horses and most recently, in Havana, Cuba," Papritz said.
“Which was probably the most difficult signing I’ve ever done," he said. "It took about six months to pull together, and the internet was only introduced to the Cuban public there two years ago. Which means that they’re like a kid in a candy store,. It’s absolutely fascinating.”
“But the communications still are very poor, including email and even Facebook messaging or things like that," Papritz said. "In Cuba you can set up a book signing, or do an event, or whatever you want to get your message out relatively easily. But you’re questioned as to why you want to do it in the first place. But what was amazing was when I got there and showed myself in person as sort of the author ambassador, at that moment, it was like, ‘Oh you’re a real person, you have a real message of hope to bring to us,’ and they just, they loved it.”
Papritz said going to Cuba, as both an author and an American, is a big deal. Not only because he is promoting his book…
“Wow, I represent my country, in effect," he said. "It was wonderful to represent them because I was bringing this sense of hope, and they saw that personified.”
Inspiring youth and young adults to read has always been important to this cowboy - who uses YouTube videos to share his book with viewers - not only in Cuba, but worldwide.
Papritz believes he is sharing a message of hope with the world, and has a special interest in inspiring kids to read.
In a video, a fourth grader named Mckenzie reads a section of Papritz’s book, written as a fictional handbook about ways life should be lived.
“Kids are meant to get dirty and run loose and find bugs and build forts and splash in streams and lakes and, you get the picture," Mckenzie said. "Teach them most definitely how to say thank you and please. Answer their questions when they have questions. Don’t put them off to kill any part of the curious spirit.”
“So I do this ‘I Love To Read’ video series," Papritz said. "And again, it’s just in unusual places and things. But I’m hopeful that these small videos that I do can get kids excited about reading. If I can be one person of many people who bring that sense of hopefulness, especially to the Cuban people who are just being open to the world now. Americans are coming over and if we can be representative, or if I can be representative of that hopefulness then man, I’m a happy camper. I love to read, but dang I love to ride."