Chapel Hill author aims to help relieve stress with adult coloring book

Chapel Hill resident Tom Castelloe discovered art therapy during his own experience with mental illness. He has now set out to help others with his adult coloring book, “The Recovery Coloring Book” (Recovery Coloring Books).

While coping with mental illness, Castelloe began coloring to relieve the boredom of being in the hospital. He found that it was a fun, playful way to get back in touch with his inner child. It also helped him to de-stress and to find clarity in the midst of illness.

“It’s been the biggest blessing to me to give back to the community of mentally and physically ill, with the understanding that I have personally been through long hospital stays, and personally know how coloring can relieve some of the pressure, anxiety and worrying,” Castelloe says.

In addition to artistic designs, the book contains messages of healing, hope and faith from the Bible. More than 200 copies of the coloring book have been donated to local nonprofits.

New titles

Local writer E.A. Haag’s interest in Chinese history led him to pen “Charlie Soong: North Carolina’s Link to the Fall of the Last Emperor of China” (Jaan Publishing). Soong was a late 19th-century immigrant to North Carolina who befriended tobacco magnate Julian Carr, attended Trinity College (the original name of Duke University) and went on to become a revolutionary and the father of some of the most influential figures in 20th-century China. Haag, a former history teacher, worked in Taiwan from 1996-2002.

Best-selling science-fiction author Chris Kennedy recently launched his latest novel at HonorCon 2015 in Raleigh. “Beyond the Shroud of the Universe” (Chris Kennedy Publishing) is the second book in the Codex Regius series. Kennedy is a 1987 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill.

Carrboro author P.R. Beckman’s trio of mysteries feature Henry Carey, an aging political scientist looking forward to retiring in Chapel Hill. “A Lecture to Die For,” “Of Mountains, Sunsets, and Murder” and “In Terror’s Wake” (all published by CreateSpace) find Carey’s peaceful life complicated by worldly events. Beckman says a fourth novel with a local twist is in the works.


At its October meeting, the North Carolina Society of Historians presented the Willie Parker Peace History Book Award to H.G. Jones of Pittsboro and David Southern of Durham for their book “Miss Mary’s Money: Fortune and Misfortune in a North Carolina Plantation Family, 1750-1924” (McFarland).


Novelists James Tate Hill and Greg Shemkovitz will make it a double debut at Quail Ridge Books at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 10. Hill’s “Academy Gothic” (Southeast Missouri State University Press) won the Nilsen Prize for a First Novel. Shemkovitz, a professor at Elon University, will share from “Lot Boy” (sunnyoutside).

Author Earl Swift will talk about “Auto Biography: A Classic Car, an Outlaw Motorhead, and 57 Years of the American Dream” (It Books) at 5 p.m. Nov. 12 on UNC-TV’s “North Carolina Bookwatch.” Swift follows a ’57 Chevy station wagon through its 13 different owners, telling their stories along with the car’s history.

Triangle-area authors: We want to hear about your new book. Send information to As space permits, we will mention self-published books by local authors that are for sale on commercial sites.