Austin grad returns for book signing

Published 5:35 pm Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Maybe you can go home again.

Amy Helfritz will be at the Austin Public Library Wednesday from 11 a.m. to noon for a book signing of the recently published “Breakfast New Mexico Style.”

The 1992 Austin High School graduate, who now lives in New Mexico, was a contributing writer for the book that highlights breakfast locations throughout the New Mexico region.

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“It’s very exciting to have the chance to go back to where I had my first job,” Helfritz said.

The Austin-born Helfritz was the children’s librarian assistant at the Austin Public Library’s old location from 1991 to 1994. She now owns her own art and photography business and is the librarian of a healthcare college.

“That’s kind of how everything comes together,” she said.

Helfritz enjoyed reading at an early age, enthralled in the worlds of Beverly Cleary and Nancy Drew, and now loves all genres, from political books to fiction.

“I really do love everything,” she said.

Her creativity doesn’t stop with reading and writing. Helfritz also enjoys art and photography. Her picture of lilies was published on a stamp for the 2004 Easter Seals campaign and was sent out to roughly 17 million households.

This week, though, Helfritz is promoting her writing and the new book.

“The two authors decided to get librarians across the state involved in the project,” said Helfritz, who described “Breakfast New Mexico Style” as a guide to a variety of regional restaurants that offer breakfast.

Helfritz contributed a couple of pages to the book, writing about Satellite Coffee in Albuquerque and its menu items such as the fiesta green chile roll and the London Fog, a combination of Earl Grey tea, steamed milk and a shot of vanilla.

“It’s very nice,” she said of the drink.

Helfritz said her choice of restaurant came from her days of graduate school, when she spent hours at Satellite Coffee working on her thesis about how theatre can improve reading comprehension in fourth grade males.

“It’s basically where I lived …” she said.

Helfritz visits Austin about once a year. Her grandmother, Betty Keller, still lives here, and when Helfritz is in town, she enjoys snapping photos of the local scenery.

“It’s always good to see everybody,” she said.

“Breakfast New Mexico Style” is available online at places such as

Helfritz will bring a limited number with her for purchase Wednesday and will also have postcards of the book’s cover. A copy of the book is not yet available at the Austin Public Library, but Helfritz said she’ll get them a copy soon.

After her visit, Helfritz will continue to work on her first novel, which has yet to be titled.

“It’s a Christian romance,” she said.

After that, who knows? Perhaps she’ll then come home again.