Fort Vancouver Event Coming Soon

My reading and signing event at the fantastic Fort Vancouver site in Vancouver, Washington, is just three weeks away, Saturday, July 16, starting at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. As mentioned in my March post “Upcoming Book Event at Fort Vancouver,” it was a dream of mine to hold an event at this historic fort for my new historical novel, The Shifting Winds, because the fort plays a significant part in the story. Now that dream is about to happen.

599.Ft.Vanc.Bastion -titleThrough my presentation at the fort Visitor Center–a lecture, a slideshow of related photos, and a tour of the fort–I hope to draw people back to the days of my story. The lecture and book signing will be from 2 to 3:30. Afterward, from 4 to 5 I’ll lead attendees on a tour through the fort and highlight some of the places that appear in my book. The bastion in the fort palisade is shown above.

Several scenes in the story take the reader to this amazing spot of British civilization in a wilderness isolated from all that’s familiar to the young American protagonist, reluctant pioneer Jennie Haviland. And one of the major players, Hudson’s Bay Company clerk Alan Radford, works at the fort.

In the early 1840a when the story takes place, Fort Vancouver stands as the center of the British fur trade in the Pacific Northwest, and American settlers have just begun trickling into the area, hoping to gain the land for the United States. For more than 20 years Britain and the United States have jointly occupied the Oregon Country, unable to come to terms on a boundary between them.

Ft.Vanc.Big House FrontGiven Fort Vancouver’s significance in Western American history, the fort has been faithfully reconstructed as a living representation of the times, including the home of the commanding officer and his second in command, above, which is furnished much as it would have been when Chief Factor Dr. John McLoughlin lived there and essentially ruled the Oregon Territory. The McLoughlin sitting room is shown below.

613.Ft.Vanc.McLoughlin Sitting RoomNow a National Historic Site maintained by the National Park Service, the fort offers visitors a chance to step back in history and see what life was like in the fort’s heyday.

622.John McLoughlin Daguerreotype - creditChief Factor McLoughlin, shown in the daguerreotype, is one of the real characters portrayed in the book (photo courtesy of National Park Service).

My story takes place during the historic time of rising tension between the two nations over this one land. Within that true story of conflict, a fictional clash develops between two men–the British HBC clerk Alan Radford, and American mountain man Jake Johnston–who vie for protagonist Jennie as their nations vie for Oregon.

To find the fort and center, their website offers maps and directions. The Visitor Center, where my event will be held, is at 1501 East Evergreen Boulevard.

The Visitor Center Bookstore will have copies of The Shifting Winds for sale, as well as copies of my previous book, A Place of Her Own.

My thanks to the National Park Service and the Friends of Fort Vancouver for co-hosting the event. And a special thanks to Mary Rose, Executive Director of the Friends of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, for making the arrangements.

In these next three weeks I plan to offer a series of posts here on my blog to help set the stage for my story and for this event. Because the posts will delve into the historical setting, I’ll call the new series “The True Shifting Winds.”

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Pleasant Evening at Bookmine

Bookmine encore.1029Gail at The Bookmine in Cottage Grove set up a lovely display for my encore signing and reading party for The Shifting Winds Thursday evening, to which I added my new poster for the book (at left).

We also had copies of my first book, A Place of Her Own, available and actually sold quite a few of them as well. It continues to gain interest.

It was a busy evening with the Farmer’s Market just outside, and several people drifted in to join those who’d come for the event.

Bookmine encore.1040.2

An attentive group stayed for the readings. I chose three short segments, a couple of tense cliff hangers and, for a change of pace, one of Joe Meek’s stories. Joe, a mountain man, is one of the real characters in the book. Gail also offered refreshments, shown in the photo above, so folks nibbled and listened.

Bookmine encore.1045.2Bookmine encore.1039.2

After the reading we had a few questions. And I signed a few books.

Altogether a pleasant evening. It was nice to have both of my daughters, Carisa and Christiane, and my granddaughter, Calliope, with me.

Thanks to Christiane for taking the pictures.

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Bookmine Encore

bookmine door with bookA chill breeze swept in through the open doorway of The Bookmine in Cottage Grove the evening of the season’s first Art Walk in April.

I was at this bookstore on Cottage Grove’s historic Main Street to sign and sell my books and had planned to do a reading from my new novel, The Shifting Winds.

Proprietor Gail Hoelzle came over to my table toward the end of the scheduled event and smiled. “I think we should have another event for you, a regular signing and reading.”

That sounded good to me. The Bookmine had hosted me a couple of years earlier with my first book, A Place of Her Own, a very successful event.

“Actually we’ve done quite well this evening,” I told her.

“I know. You sold a lot of books, but you didn’t get to read.”

There never seemed a good time for a reading because the people kept moving through, apparently wanting to visit as many businesses as possible on that chilly day–and maybe to beat the rain, which had threatened all day and finally struck in earnest just before the final hour came to an end.

bookmine doorwaySo we’re doing an encore, a regular book signing and reading at The Bookmine, one of my favorite stores. It’s Thursday evening, June 23, from 5 to 7, hopefully a pleasant summer day this time.

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Gala Readers

Readers for the Mid-Valley Willamette Writers Author’s Celebration annual gala relax a little after reading from their new published works last night at Tsunami Books in Eugene. From left to right, the 2016 group: Julie Dawn, Bill Cameron, Sarina Dorie, Valerie Brooks, and me, Janet Fisher.

WW gala readers (2)Bill opened the evening with an intense reading from his young adult mystery, Property of the State, which is so new he had only one copy available last night. The book will be released next week by The Poisoned Pencil. Next up was Julie Dawn, writer of “a different kind of horror,” reading from her new novel, Yosemite Rising. I read a couple of excerpts then from The Shifting Winds, part of the opening scene, followed by one of Joe Meek’s stories, a tale he actually told. I did my best to give it the Joe Meek flavor with his Kentucky drawl and mountain man jargon.

Valerie Brooks read next from her TravelNoirStories set in the intrigue of Paris, one of her favorite places. Her book is so new she didn’t have copies yet, but it’s coming out soon. Sarina Dorie closed the evening on a light note with a reading from her book Fairies, Robots and Unicorns–Oh My! A Collection of Funny Short Stories. From the collection she read “Eels for Heels,” a humorous urban fantasy romance previously published in Roar magazine.

It was a delightful evening. Despite the usual jitters that come from sharing our own work, all the readers seemed to have a good time, encouraged by a very receptive audience. After the readings we enjoyed chatting, selling a few books, and sampling wine and snacks.

The gala event serves to showcase published authors from the Mid-Valley Willamette Writers group with the readers chosen from entries submitted. This was the third annual gala.

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