Not too long ago, I was talking to a group of bookstore employees and presenting our newest title, “Weathered Edge,” when one of the young women in the group asked if what I do (publishing and selling books) is difficult. She then stated that if I loved what I did, that it must not be work. I explained that while I love what I do, that it is still not easy. She cheerfully insisted, “But, you love it, so it’s not really work. That’s awesome.”
At that moment, I nodded and accepted her answer as I often hear about how doing things we love somehow implies that it is not work. In truth, putting a book together, especially a collaborative work with more than one writer and more than one editor, is a lot of work. Because I love what I do, it only means I work harder at it because I believe that the end result matters. So what actually does go into a collaborative work? How does it get from concept to the bookstore, and where are the complications? What works with this sort of process and what doesn’t? In this month’s Crosscurrents, three writers, Kris Farmen, Martha Amore and Buffy McKay, will join me on stage to talk about just that.
Each of these writers has a different perspective on the process given that they are in different stages of their careers as writers. Kris Farmen is a veteran writer with three books under his belt and has worked with more than one publisher. He has also written dozens of articles for the Anchorage Press, Alaska Magazine, Mushing Magazine, The Surfer’s Path and others. Martha Amore is an adjunct faculty member at both Alaska Pacific University and University of Alaska Anchorage, where she teaches writing. Her work has appeared in Room Magazine, The Anchorage Daily News, Radical Arts for Women, Chicago Parents Magazine and others. Weathered Edge is her debut book and she brings to the table an interesting perspective as a teacher, mother and emerging writer. Buffy Mckay, who is traveling all the way from Rhode Island, has been published in The Anchorage Daily News, Anchorage Press, Crosscurrents North Anthology, University of Alaska Southeast Journal and more. Like Martha, Weathered Edge is also her debut fiction book. Buffy’s family is from Unalakleet, and she brings to the table a unique Alaska Native (Inupiaq) voice.
Vered Mares was born into a household of poets, writers, artists, and musicians. As a child, she explored the high deserts of northern New Mexico at Ghost Ranch near Georgia O’Keefe’s home, while her father taught poetry and writing workshops. Vered is now the publisher and senior editor at VP&D House in Anchorage.