BY LARA DUNNING
Whidbey Life Magazine Contributor
December 9, 2015
Are you a lover of the written word? Do you dream about writing a novel? Do you want to ask your favorite author about a gut-wrenching plot twist? Luck is on your side. Sno-Isle Libraries ‘Author Next Door’ series from 6:30 to 8 p.m.on Thursday, Dec. 17 at the Langley Library gives you a chance to ask seven Whidbey Island authors about their writing process and literary works.
“It’s exciting to have a wealth of creative people and authors to work with at the library,” said Jackie Parker, Lead Librarian for Readers’ Services. “We want to help authors acquire new readers and engage with the community.”
The series—a question & answer format—is designed to create a more personal interaction. “We wanted to give readers an option that’s not just a book club,” said Parker. “It’s an alternative way to reach the author community and foster them.” The 21-branch library has over 80 individuals in their author directory. This year, the series included 44 authors and illustrators who “live among us.”
Who are these wordsmiths?
In Allan Ament’s memoir, “Learning to Float,” launched in February 2015, he shares the challenges and experiences of being his wife’s caregiver after her debilitating stroke. “I hope attendees find an appreciation for the writing process or inspiration to write themselves,” said Ament, who is attending the panel for the first time. “With a diverse panel, there will be something of interest for everybody.”
Margaret Bendet’s new book, “Learning to Eat Along the Way: A Memoir,” delves into her pursuit for enlightenment and her life in an ashram. (If you need a little help with your own novel, she also provides coaching and developmental editing.)
Kay Foss and Judy Lynn co-authored the book “Images of America COUPEVILLE,” which recounts the history of the second-oldest town in Washington State via interviews, photographs and extensive research. Foss, a 2014 panel member, is currently researching one of her ancestors. “It’s always good to find out how other people get their ideas and surmount obstacles,” she said. “It’s great to talk with people who have already done that.” The inclusion of both Foss and Lynn on the author panel provides opportunities to ask about the research process.
Lenita Sheridan found inspiration for her fantasy novel “Guardian of the Gauntlet” from her explorations of the woods outside her childhood Fairbanks home. The sequel, “Guardian of the Gauntlet Book II,” was released earlier this year.
Garr Kuhl’s most recent novel, “Guadalajara Burn,” is a murder mystery loosely based on personal experiences. His play, “BRIMS-The Sequel,” is available on WhidbeyAir Radio where his new play, “Peace Accord,” will soon air. “I hope the series informs people about the value of the written word,” said Kuhl, a first-timer to the local author panel, “and that writing is healthy for the spirit and the soul.”
Dan Pederson’s recent essay collection, “My Whidbey,” explores life on Whidbey Island from observations about nature, reclusiveness, ferries and small-town living. His popular blog, “Off the Rails,” celebrates the character of the island.
The Langley Library event is the last of the “Authors Next Door” series. Light snacks and drinks will be provided and Moonraker Books will have authors’ works available for purchase.
Lara Dunning is enthusiastic about small town living and you can read more about her discoveries at Small Town Washington. She has been published in The Crossing Guide, Explore Anacortes and Waggoner’s Pacific Northwest Boating. Her interests include young adult novels, history, hiking and locavore inspired food.
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