49 Writers Weekly Round-Up

Back in business after a 48-hour internet/cable outage, with a reminder that we’re now opening slots for our 2010 featured authors. We’d like one featured author each month, responsible for four posts per month. You can write about anything that would be of interest to our readers. We also run an author photo plus a book photo in our sidebar for the month, plus we keep a list of featured authors with links to their posts for the year. If you’d like t be considered for one of our 2010 featured author slots, email debv@gci.net by December 15, 2009.

Alaska All-Star librarian Charlotte Glover from Ketchikan reports that they attracted a nice crowd of 54 or so for Brad Matsen’s discussion of his new book Jacques Cousteau: The Sea King. Matsen now plans to ride the ferry south with Ray Troll, who is heading to Seattle to set up a six month long exhibit at the Burke Museum called “Cruisin’ The Fossil Freeway,” a nationally-touring exhibit that will take visitors on a “road trip” through the American West to learn about the Northwest region’s intriguing fossils and the stories they tell about the past, based on the book by the celebrated duo Ray Troll and Kirk Johnson.

Glover also notes that they are getting lots of positive comments about romance writer Stef Ann Holm’s new book All That You Are which is set in Ketchikan and, according to Glover, “reads like a love letter to our town . . . How can you not like a book in which many scenes take place at Burger Queen, our local fav?” Holm made two trips to Ketchikan, one on a cruise ship and another four days on her own, to get the “local color” just right. Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly had to say:

“Fans who have followed the escapades of the older Moretti brothers in All The Right Angles and All That Matters will enjoy meeting wild-child Mark, age 40 and facing a midlife crisis. While spending the summer in Ketchikan, Alaska, he’s thrown out of the Blue Note bar and into love with its beautiful proprietor, Danalee Jackson, a part-black, part-Chinese 28-year-old with a murky history, a young son and a policy against dating customers. When the Blue Note is cited for building violations, financially strapped Dana accepts Mark’s offer of help, and their relationship unfolds through verbal jabs that turn gradually into conversations. Tin-ear dialect and Mark’s alpha-male aggression will turn some readers off, but Holm’s affection for her characters and the beautiful setting lend a hint of savor to this sweet soufflé.” (Oct.)
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Glover also notes that Alaskan writer Debby Dahl Edwardson has hit the ball out of the park with her new YA title Blessing’s Bead:

“Concrete and symbolic references to the transforming power of language, names, and stories link the two narratives, but it’s the Nutaaqs’ rhythmic, indelible voices—both as steady and elemental as the beat of a drum or a heart—that will move readers most. A unique, powerful debut.” —Starred, Booklist

“Nutaaq stands on the northwestern shore of Alaska, watching her sister sail away to a new life in Siberia with her husband. The pain of separation, the importance of family, and the power of a name are all mirrored 70 years later in Nutaaq’s great-granddaughter Blessing, whose Eskimo name is also Nutaaq. Author Debby Dahl Edwardson weaves two powerful, parallel stories that vividly portray life in the North Slope village of Barrow, Alaska, America’s northernmost settlement. Drawing on the historical events that have shaped the Inupiaq, the real people, Edwardson deftly fills the void in contemporary, realistic fiction about the Native people of Alaska. This story is one of hope, faithfulness, and love. Life in the village is a special, unique, precious thing, and reading Blessing’s Bead made me feel immensely, fiercely proud of these people and the hardships they have faced, rising again and again to protect the things that are most sacred to them: family, culture, and a life well lived on the land.” – Sara Saxton, Tuzzy Library

“Edwardson treads an elegant line in her perspective: Blessing is both an insider—Iñupiaq—and an outsider still learning exactly what that means. It’s a perspective that allows any reader in, and they’ll learn much about the power of stories and names and how to use them both.” —Kirkus Reviews

Alaskan author Basil Sands is holding a contest to name his new web radio talk show, which airs beginning the first week of December. Sands has been doing fill-in work for local radio talk for a while and says this show will be a branching out into a regular gig with an international audience. He says to expect a current events/politics/comedy show (think Dennis Miller & Jon Stewart get blended on a DNA level and sent to Alaska) and with a regular book segment where he will highlight an author/audiobook performer/publisher. He’ll be looking for authors or other book related professionals to submit to a fifteen minute interview (live or pre-recorded). In addition to literary types, he’s looking for quirky and entertaining Alaskans in general for segments of the show. He says it’s a pretty light-hearted, fast-moving show, so boring folks need not apply.

Submit title suggestions at www.basilsands.com; the winner gets $25 US via paypal.

Author Bill Sherwonit (also our December featured author at 49 Writers) will be the featured speaker at the Dec. 3 luncheon/meeting of the Alaska Professional Communicators. His talk: “Exploring and Celebrating Wild Nature, from Alaska’s Urban Center to its Remote Backcountry Wilderness.” The luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the AHFC building at the corner of Tudor and Boniface. For more information or to make reservations, email akpc@gci.net or call 274-4723.

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