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.


Author Gala Reading

The annual Mid-Valley Willamette Writers Author Celebration happens next week when several members are selected to read from their published works. I’m excited to be one of the readers again. At this year’s event I’ll be reading from my new historical novel, The Shifting Winds.

Pulling up some pleasant memories, here’s the group that read in 2014 at the first of these gala events. That time I read from A Place of Her Own, which had just been released.

WW ReadersWhat a fun evening! It was so exciting to be sharing my very first published book. A great time for us all. I developed some lasting friendships from that gathering. We were at Tsunami Books in Eugene, the regular meeting place for the Mid-Valley Willamette Writers, and the gala will be at the same place this year.

Author Gala Poster 2016Here’s the poster for the event. It’s the first Thursday of the month, the usual meeting night for the group, June 2, from 7 to 9 pm.

We’ll have fewer readers this time, including Valerie Brooks, Bill Cameron, Julie Dawn, Sarina Dorie, and me.

As noted on the poster it’s open to the public. The suggested donation is one new or gently used children’s book or a small cash donation in support of the group’s Books for Kids program. Tsunami Books is at 2585 Willamette Street in Eugene.

I’ll be reading the opening scene from The Shifting Winds and introducing one of the real historic characters from my book, Joe Meek, mountain man extraordinaire.

joe mural smallerHere he is portrayed in his immortal role at the gathering of settlers at Champoeg in May 1843, just 173 years ago.

American settlers were hoping for an agreement that would give them the protection of law in this isolated frontier.

When the vote seemed uncertain, the bold mountaineer called out in his booming voice, “Who’s fer a divide?” And the voters lined up to be counted.

This large mural is displayed in the Oregon State Capitol building. That’s Joe in the red shirt toward the front, rifle in hand, calling for the divide.

He was a storyteller at heart, which I guess all of us authors must be too. I look forward to hearing readings from the stories of my fellow Mid-Valley Willamette Writers authors and look forward to sharing my own.


Lovely Afternoon at Tsunami

I was delighted to greet a lovely bunch of friends at Tsunami Books in Eugene on Sunday afternoon for the book signing and reading there for my new historical novel, The Shifting Winds. Most of my special Willamette Writers group came, as well as neighbors and newfound cousins and other wonderful friends.

Tsunami 2016This bookstore is a pleasant venue with the warmth of lots of natural wood and funky chairs and books enough to delight any book lover. The reading was well received with a spirited Q & A afterward. It’s exciting for me to see such keen interest in the history surrounding this story of Oregon’s early pioneers and the fur traders wTsunami with Krisho played such a major role in those days.

Along with friendly book talk, we had Elkton wines from the Brandborg Winery with cheese and crackers.

That’s Kris Jensen from my writers group on the right, getting her book signed.

My thanks to Scott Landfield, proprietor, for the space. Thanks to my daughter Carisa Cegavske and another friend from the writers group, Elizabeth King, for helping with refreshments. Thanks to my son-in-law Robin Loznak for taking pictures. And thanks to everyone for coming out on a fine spring afternoon. It was great seeing you all.



Headed for Tsunami Sunday

We’re headed for Tsunami on Sunday for my Eugene launch of The Shifting Winds.

Tsunami BooksThe store’s banner, caught in the late afternoon light, speaks of a storm of waves rushing fast against a vivid sky. And I guess that’s the hope for every book. May it create its own waves, bringing readers into a world of adventure and romance, or wherever the author’s imagination seeks to carry them.

I took this photo last night before my Willamette Writers meeting. The mid-valley chapter holds its regular monthly meetings here. Our speaker at the end of her talk asked the audience why we write, and many answers were offered, but then she told the story of the 1001 nights of Scheherazade and suggested we write so people ask, “What’s next?” That was Scheherazade’s key to saving her own life and the lives of 1001 other virgins in the interim.

I enjoyed a private smile of my own, recalling that after I read a scene from The Shifting Winds at my launch party in Elkton, I opened it up to Q & A. And one of the questions was, “What happens next?” We laughed, but that’s the key, isn’t it? Getting the reader to ask, “What’s next?” That’s what keeps them reading–not just this book, but another and another. And the waves keep coming and keep storytelling alive.

So I’ll be at Tsunami Books at 2585 Willamette Street from 3 to 5 on Sunday afternoon, April 10. I’ll do a reading, probably around 3:30, open it up to Q & A, and sign some books. We’ll have light refreshments, including some Elkton wines from near my home, and have time to chat. The weather forecast looks good, promising some blue sky again, if not as warm as yesterday.

The event is open to the public. If you’re in the neighborhood I hope you’ll come by and enjoy getting caught on the waves of story.