Local Authors in the Limelight

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If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.” ~ Edward Hopper

Saturday was a day of great fun for me as a person who works in the independent publishing industry. The literary community of Steamboat Springs, Colorado came  out from behind their computers and into the limelight at the Written Arts Festival. I am aware of the fact that we do, indeed, have a growing population of independent publishers in this community. Nearly thirty were gathered; some having just published their debut novels, while others have more than one book published.

Panel discussions added interest to the event. “How should history be portrayed in writing?” was a subject that drew differing opinions from the authors. In the opinions of some, there is an obligation to write stories true to history; while others contend that history can be written from different perspectives.

Other authors specialize in fiction writing. The panelists in this genre seemed to agree that authors draw, to a certain extent, from personal experience and background which often gives them the basis of the story. Then the storyline “is pushed in different directions,” sometimes ending in a total surprise, even for the author. One panelist mentioned how her deeply felt spiritual beliefs influences her writing and a prolific romance writer admitted that individuals she encounters inspires her characters.

Sites, smells and visual landscapes also influence writing. A third group of panelists discussed how stories are crafted from experience in travel as well as from their rootedness in community. Place plays great significance in our identity as people and as writers. Local issues are often brought into books of regional interest.

The event culminated with an interview of a very talented poet and the Home Ranch owner, Ann Anderson Stranahan. Words, when used with the right cadence and meter makes music, she said. When Stranahan was asked  if “her poetic images come to her in black and white or in color?”

“Vividly and suddenly, perhaps as in a photographic image, rather than an oil or watercolor,” was her answer.

The Bud Werner Memorial Library http://www.steamboatlibrary.org/ and the efforts of their staff made this inspiring event possible. Also, the support of the Steamboat Arts Council http://steamboatspringsarts.com/and Off the Beaten Path Bookstore’s  http://www.steamboatbooks.com/ handling of the bookselling allowed the authors to visit with potential book buyers and answer questions.

I would have liked to have mentioned each of the authors individually, in this blog writing, but there were too many. I did get around the room to talk to each of them briefly. Thanks to all who participated and coordinated the Written Arts Festival. It was encouraging for anyone who is contemplating writing and publishing a story.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

What are Indie Publishers All About?

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Remember those words sung by Dionne Warwick from many years ago –

What’s it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What’s it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?”

Over the past ten or twelve years, these same types of questions have been asked by readers and writers everywhere. They want to know – What is the independent publishing industry really all about?

On Thursday evening, February 2nd at 7pm, I will be giving a presentation at the Hayden Library in Hayden, Colorado on the evolution (or revolution, as some may see it) of independent publishing and the arrival of e-books to the publishing scene.

Join me and feel free to ask “What is it all about, Suzie?” I have spent many years sorting out this constantly changing, exciting and growing industry of independent publishing, as best as I possibly can! And, no! It is not just for the moment we live – books live on and on, and many “independent minded people” publish as a way of leaving a legacy to their families, friends and for many more reasons, too.

Again – we will be discussing fulfilling dreams of publishing on February 2nd at 7pm in Routt County, Colorado at the Hayden Library. You will see “the possibilities are endless… one merely needs to step forward.

SHe Writes Steamboat because of their affiliate membership with the Colorado Independent Publishers Association  has all the educational resources and vendors available to help authors  along the way to becoming a successful independent publisher.

Come along. Jump on the Fast Track of Independent Publishing. It’s a New Year, and a great time in publishing! Join in.