Because of our book, Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges, Dick Smith and I had been invited to take part in the Oregon Historical Society’s “44th Annual Holiday Cheer, a Celebration of Oregon Authors” in Portland on December 4. There were about 50 authors total, and we all had our books spread out in front of us on tables. These books had all been published in 2011 and were considered by OHS to be significant to the state of Oregon. We felt honored to be invited.
Some of the luminaries present included former Governor Barbara Roberts with her book Up the Capitol Steps, a Woman’s March to the Governorship; famous novelist Jean Auel with The Land of Painted Caves, the final installment of the Earth’s Children series; award-winning historical novelist Jane Kirkpatrick with her 20th bestseller The Daughter’s Walk; and New York Times bestseller Philip Margolin and his co-author/daughter Ami Margolin Rome with Vanishing Acts a mystery for middle schoolers.
And some of the others that I actually knew, I had a chance to reconnect with. I talked to William Sullivan, author of many Oregon hiking books, including his new Trails of Crater Lake National Park & Oregon Caves National Monument and his new novel The Ship in the Hill, which he feels is his best work. Of course, I had to buy a copy. I’m a fan and have several of his books.
I visited with George Byron Wright whom I met when he spoke at the Siuslaw Public Library in Florence. He has five books based in different Oregon locales. I bought Driving to Vernonia; any book about such a tiny town in the northwest corner of the state, I simply had to have. His latest, Newport Blues, A Salesman’s Lament, is set along the Oregon Coast. I don’t think I’ll be able to resist it for long.
I also visited with my competition Ray A. Allen whom I met October 2 when we were two of the bridge book authors selling books under the Yaquina Bay Bridge on the day of the bridge’s 75th anniversary parade and celebration. That day, we were both too busy to talk. This time I discovered that he spent five years working on Oregon Coast Bridges, which profiles 40 of the most significant bridges between the Columbia River and the California state line. Although, it covers the same bridges I did in Crossings, the books are totally different. After the book fair, we traded, so now we have each other’s books.
One of my most enjoyable experiences was visiting with three writers––now authors––who wrote for Oregon Coast, Northwest Travel, and Oregon Outside magazines during my years as an editor. My contacts had been by phone or e-mail, so I finally got to meet them in person. Peter Marbach, whom I used to call whenever I needed Columbia River gorge photos, has a beautiful coffee table book, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area 25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition, done in collaboration with Janet Cook. Jon Bell who wrote for Oregon Outside has a new book On Mount Hood: A Biography of Oregon’s Perilous Peak. More than one of his books I was tempted to buy. And M.J. Cody has a new book Wild in the City: Exploring the Intertwine: The Portland–Vancouver Region’s Network of Parks Trails, and Natural Areas co-authored with Michael C. Houck. This is a totally new version. We reminisced about the original that came out 11 years earlier, which I reviewed for one of the three magazines.
It was also great to reconnect with folks attending the book fair that used to live in Florence and stopped by to see us and buy a book. And it’s always fun to see folks from home when you’re away from home. Three couples had driven all the way to Portland from the coast––from Florence, Gardiner, and Reedsport that morning.
And I had driven from Florence. It took me almost four hours––8:10 to 11:55 a.m. (I made brief stops for gas, coffee, and a restroom.) I just made it, since the doors opened to the public at noon. Afterwards, I headed home about 5 p.m. and made it by 8:45 p.m. with one stop to eat my dinner, which I had packed with me. I drove with an audiobook playing, so that made the drive more enjoyable. The weather was cold, but dry with high fog in the morning and totally clear in the evening. Traffic moved along nicely both going and coming back. My Google map directions got me to the Historical Society without getting me lost, and Dick’s directions got me out of Portland and back onto I-5 safely. Dick and his wife had driven up the day before and would drive back the day after. Very smart! And Dick brought the books, so I didn’t have to worry about them. For both of us, it had been a totally enjoyable experience, . . . and we sold 15 books!
Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges can be yours for $24.95 plus $3.99 shipping. Order from Pacific Publishing at http://www.connectflorence.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. It is also available on the coast in bookstores, museums, and gift shops; in Eugene at the airport, the historical museum, and several bookstores; and in Portland at Powell’s and the Oregon Historical Society.
Judy’s PowerPoint presentation with book sales/signing:
February 19, Sunday, 3 p.m.––Port Orford Library, Port Orford (1421 Oregon Street [Hwy 101])
Judy guest on TV show:
March 13, Tuesday, 2:30––The Author’s Forum, a talk show with Dr. Veronica Esagui, chiropractic physician, author, and public speaker, on Portland area public access television (channel TBA)