The Story

RG p1When I first told Scott Landfield about my book, A Place of Her Own, about my great-great-grandmother Martha, he suggested I contact Randi Bjornstad from the Eugene Register-Guard. As proprietor of Tsunami Books in Eugene, Scott keeps tabs on the book scene in Lane County.

Following his advice I asked my publicist from Globe Pequot to send Randi a copy of the book and a press release. I followed up with an email to Randi providing personal information about the story’s connection with Lane County, and I believe Scott contacted her as well.

I was delighted when Randi emailed me requesting an interview. But when I learned she wanted to come out to the farm and bring a photographer I began getting excited. Eugene is an hour and a half away. The Register-Guard wouldn’t send out a reporter and photographer if they didn’t plan a fair-sized story.RG p2

A husband and wife team, Randi and the photographer, Paul Carter, drove down to the farm on a pleasant, sunny day, and spent most of an afternoon with me. We walked up the hill a ways to see more of the land. As we talked, enjoying the soft warmth of the sun, sharing companionable conversation, Paul snapped a lot of pictures of the scenery, then began turning the camera toward me. And Randi took more notes. She had already interviewed me by phone.

After returning to the house to check out some of the old photos in my office, we drove down the hill to the old prune dryer for more pictures, then made our way to the cemetery where Martha rests on a hill overlooking the river.

A lovely day.

Now, it’s a thrill to see the story in today’s Sunday paper. The upper picture on this post shows the first page in print of the Guard’s “Lifestyle” section. The lower picture shows the rest of the spread from the picture to the bottom of the page. My thanks to Randi and Paul, who did such a great job on the story and photos, and thanks to Scott for pointing me to them.


Last June Event

DSCN0287One more signing coming up for June. I’ll be at V.W. Books in Roseburg in the Garden Valley Shopping Center–on your left as you drive into the center, a few doors before Jo-Ann’s–Sunday afternoon, June 29, from 2 to 4.

A nice young couple runs this bookstore, which used to be in the Roseburg Valley Mall. They’re enjoying their new location. If you’re from the Roseburg area and haven’t been there, you may want to check it out.

This will be a casual event. No reading. Just signing. Please stop by if you’re in town. And if you bought a book elsewhere and would like it signed, you’re welcome to bring that by. I’ll be providing books for this event, so no one will mind.

This rounds out a busy June of events. I intend to rest on the 30th.  🙂




Good Crowd at Annie’s

molly_bloom_sittingMolly Bloom came in early to check out the people who came to my book signing at Annie Bloom’s Books in Portland’s Multnomah Village Thursday evening. As folks took their seats for the reading that began the event, Molly worked the crowd, slinking from one person to another. Molly is the silky black cat that lives at Annie’s, and she seemed pleased with the proceedings. Before we got her picture, though, she melted into the shadows. I had to borrow this picture.

The crowd delighted me. Many friends came, but also many people I didn’t know. They filled the chairs set out in rows for the reading, and we had to get more chairs. Some ended up standing.
annie's aside

Jeff from the Annie’s staff introduced me. Pleased with the numbers who came, he commented on the popularity of stories of Oregon’s history. I read a new excerpt of A Place of Her Own to the receptive crowd. Then after a little Q&A we socialized over wine with cheese and crackers, while I signed books.

I stayed in town with my good friend Tilly, who used to be my next-door neighbor near Multnomah Village. A friend of Tilly’s offered roses from her garden for the event. There are so many beautiful roses in Portland, the City of Roses. pink rosesWe made a bouquet from the pink ones, which reminded me of the cutting of a pink rose Martha tucked into the covered wagon to carry across the Oregon Trail from Missouri to Oregon. A bush from that cutting still lives on the farm.

The excerpt I read from the book mentioned Martha’s pink rosebush, and the listeners appreciated the connection.

All in all, a lovely evening in a wonderful bookstore.

My thanks to Andy Engholm for taking the pictures.


To Annie’s in Portland

Heading north to Portland tomorrow, Thursday, June 26, for my book sannie bloom's logoigning and reading event at Annie Bloom’s Books. It’s a lovely store in Multnomah Village, a short hop from where I used to live in Portland. The bookstore is at 7834 SW Capitol Highway.

annie bloom's molly

Pleasant ambience. And they have a delightful black cat named Molly Bloom.

I’ll read a new excerpt from my book, A Place of Her Own: The Legacy of Oregon Pioneer Martha Poindexter Maupin. The event begins at 7 pm, and I’ll begin reading shortly after 7.

For refreshments we’ll have Elkton wines from River’s Edge Winery, with crackers for nibbling.


Music and Books at Tsunami

Tsunami music side shotThe rich sounds of trumpet and piano added a sweet blend with words, wine, and welcoming conversation at my book signing at Tsunami Books in Eugene yesterday evening.

My cousin Don Fisher played trumpet, with friend Patty Wilgus on piano, offering some easy-listening tunes, and revving it up a little from time to time for something a little sassier.

My daughter Carisa, who works as a reporter for the Roseburg News-Review, snapped a few photos with my camera.

Tsunami with wine and Christiane


My other daughter Christiane served wine from the River’s Edge Winery in Elkton near the family farm.

Tsunami signing




I enjoyed signing more books.



Robin Tsunami video

Tsunami music front shot



My son-in-law Robin Loznak kept busy shooting video (Update: I’ll post the video of our reading set to music tomorrow; it’s still uploading).





More music.




Tsunami Thumbs up


And two thumbs up from Nate at Tsunami. 🙂






Practice for Saturday’s Tsunami Event

We’re going to do something different at my book release party at Tsunami Books in Eugene this Saturday. A reading set to music. Here, my cousin Don Fisher on trumpet and friend Patty Wilgus on piano are putting on the finishing touches during our final practice together for this event.

DSCN0245In my book, A Place of Her Own, the Civil War played heavily in Martha’s life during her years in Lane County. So for this Lane County event, I wanted to bring a touch of that Civil War era into my presentation. Using the two great songs from opposing sides of the conflict, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” for the North, and “Dixie” for the South, Don and Patty will surround my spoken lines with song, sometimes cheerful, sometimes sad, as we dramatize a thread of story from the book.

Don and I share Martha’s lineage. She’s a great-great-grandmother to us both.

The atmosphere at Tsunami Books provides a colorful setting for the event, with a stage and well-used piano, and plenty of space to hold the sound of a trumpet. Before and after the reading, Don and Patty will offer easy-listening background music.

To add to the festivities, we’ll serve wine from the River’s Edge Winery in Elkton near the family farm. This winery touts a special pinot noir made from grapes grown in the northern Umpqua Valley. We’ll have samples of that specialty as well as a nice pinot gris, and for sweet-loving taste buds, a Gewurztraminer. Or if you’d rather, we’ll have lemonade, with or without a bit of bubbly. And cheese and crackers.

The fun starts at 5 pm Saturday, June 21, and runs until 7. You can find Tsunami Books at 2585 Willamette Street in South Eugene, just a few blocks north of the corner of 29th and Willamette coming in from the 30th Street exit.

If you live anywhere close to Eugene, I hope you can come. 🙂



Speaking at Roseburg Rotary

I spoke to the Roseburg Rotary Club last night about my book A Place of Her Own. Here I am with Susan Morgan, president of the group, in the middle, and Laura Lusa, my accountant who invited me to speak, on the left. Rotary

My son-in-law Robin Loznak snapped the photo with my camera. He attended as a guest of Dr. Frack, a veterinarian at Douglas County Low-cost Veterinary Services where Robin works.

I enjoyed the evening with this receptive group of Rotarians. They met at Kowloon’s Restaurant for dinner, the meeting, and plenty of camaraderie.

Thank you, Laura, for the invite. 🙂



Video Encourages Writers

PNWA in Seattle just put out this YouTube video for their upcoming conference July 17 to 20 at Seatac Hilton Hotel. I’ll be there as a presenter, joining a panel of PNWA Success Stories on Thursday, the 17th, at 9:30 am, and giving a workshop on the Power of Perseverance Saturday, the 19th, at 4 o’clock. I attended this conference in 2012 and found my agent there, Rita Rosenkranz, who turned my dream of being a published author into the reality of my new book, A Place of Her Own.

It’s a great conference, wonderful positive atmosphere, and fun!

For more about PNWA (Pacific Northwest Writers Association), you can check out their website.