A friendly gathering came out to the Douglas County Museum for my first Roseburg reading and signing. It’s a lovely venue, and Karen Bratton, Research Librarian and Collections Manager, put together a pleasant setting for this event. Thanks so much, Karen.
People really seemed to enjoy the slide show of photos related to my book The Shifting Winds. My son-in-law Robin Loznak ran that for me. He has been encouraging me to do visuals, and I was glad we had such a fine setup at the museum to show those. Thanks, Robin. It was fun seeing the pictures on the large screen, especially the ones I had taken when backtracking the Oregon Trail with family.
The highlight for me was having Joyce Abdill there, wife of the late George Abdill, the man who’d offered so much information that infused this book. That’s Joyce and me above. George was the first director of this museum where the event was held and my first source for several books I wrote about the pioneer and fur trade era. Joyce shared some stories about George and how they met.
Years ago Joyce also played a part in advancing my writing career, in that she helped me get my first two agents. As a sales rep in the book industry she knew people and helped make those connections. And while those agents did not sell my books, their acceptance of this early work gave me a hope that kept me going until I did finally break through into publication. I very much appreciate Joyce for that and for her encouragement. I was delighted to have her input at this event, not only her prepared remarks but her contributions to the Q & A. And we had a lot of fun chatting. I was glad to introduce her to some of my good friends there.
Our room for the event had a historic display of Smokey the Bear items, so as we entered the room we were greeted by a fine specimen of a black bear near the refreshment table. I knew he was there. I had visited a few days before, but I still stopped short when I walked into the room last evening and met him face to face.
But my biggest surprise of the evening was when a couple walked up, and the woman told me she was my roommate our freshman year at Oregon State. She moved to Roseburg a few years ago and had seen news of my books. I hadn’t seen her since we left college.
Robin took the photo of Joyce and me with my camera, and I took the bear shot.