Former Oregon Coast Reporter Presents First Novel

wander_imgThe Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita will host a book reading by Lori Tobias, author of “Wander” Friday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. Tobias is the former coastal reporter for The Oregonian. “Wander” is her first novel.

Set in the 1980s in the rural community of Bidarkee Bay, Alaska (a fictional area the size of a small state with a population of barely 20,000), “Wander” is the story of Patrice “Pete” Nash, a young broadcast reporter who finds herself facing the winter alone after her husband, Nate, accepts a job on “the slope.”

As Pete pursues the next big breaking news story, she strikes up a friendship with the new guy in town, the Ivy League-educated Ren, who recites poetry and lives in the family-owned, vacant inn. Their friendship offers a glimpse of a different kind of life — one that seems to Pete to offer everything marriage to the country-raised Nate does not.

But unbeknown to Pete, Ren has come to Alaska for his own dark reason—to end his life. By the time, Nate returns home, their lives have been irrevocably changed. One man is dead, two others missing and a third forever lost to them.

Lori Tobias is journalist and writer of more than 25 years, including time at the Rocky Mountain News as a columnist and features writer, and most recently as a staff writer for The Oregonian, for which she covered the Oregon Coast for more than a decade. She lives on the Oregon Coast with her husband Chan and rescue pup Mugsy.

Copies of “Wander” will be available for sale and autographing at the reading.

 

Cascadia Book Event on September 10th

Cascadia Cover 6072The Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita will host a book reading by H. W. “Buzz” Bernard, author of “Cascadia” Saturday, Sep. 10 at 7 p.m.

“Cascadia,” Bernard’s fifth novel, tells the story of a major earthquake and tsunami striking Manzanita on a busy summer day. It intermixes the lives of a famed geologist who foresees the disaster and tries to get the public to pay attention, with his retired clergyman/counselor friend, who supports him despite widespread skepticism.

Other characters include a former fighter pilot trying to make amends with a local woman he jilted years before, and an eccentric retiree who searches the area for legendary buried treasure.

“Cascadia” has been cited for its graphic depiction of the devastation that could occur when “The Big One” – the dreaded Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake – occurs just off the Oregon coast.

Jerry Thompson, author of the non-fiction work “Cascadia’s Fault: The Coming Earthquake and Tsunami that Could Devastate North America,” said Bernard’s book is “riveting, scary, and entirely believable . . . a compelling, page-turning thriller with the ring of truth.”

Bernard is a native Oregonian. Before becoming a novelist, he worked at The Weather Channel, as a senior meteorologist for 13 years. Prior to that, he was a weather officer in the U.S. Air Force for over three decades. His airborne experiences included a mission with Air Force Hurricane Hunters, airdrops over the Arctic Ocean and Turkey, and a stint as a weather officer aboard a Tactical Air Command airborne command post.

Copies of “Cascadia” will be available for sale and autographing at the reading.

Representatives of the Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay will also be on hand to demonstrate and sell disaster supplies.

Book Launch Set at Hoffman Center

Kessler Book Cover 4072Lauren Kessler will launch her latest book “Raising the Barre: Big Dreams, False Starts, and My Midlife Quest to Dance the Nutcracker” Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita.s

Kessler is an American author, and immersion journalist who specializes in narrative nonfiction. She is also a professor at the University of Oregon where she directs the Writing Initiative in the School of Journalism and Communication

When she was 12, Kessler’s instructor crushed not just her dreams of being a ballerina but also her youthful self-assurance. Many decades and three children later, Kessler embarked on a journey to join a professional company and perform in Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” ballet.

“My book is a story about shaking things up, taking risks and ignoring good sense, and forgetting how old you are and how you’re ‘supposed’ to act,” said Kessler. “It’s about testing limits and raising the bar(re) on your own life.”

Cloud and Leaf Bookstore in Manzanita is sponsoring the book launch.

Floyd Skloot to read at Cloud & Leaf

winterJoin Cloud & Leaf in welcoming prizewinning author, Floyd Skloot, who will be reading from his latest book of poetry, Approaching Winter.  The event will be held on Friday, November 20th at 7:00 pm.

Skloot’s eight poetry collection evokes the fluid and dynamic nature of memory as it ebbs and floods through our daily lives.  Here the real and the imagined intermingle freely.

Floyd and his wife Beverly have recently moved to Manzanita part-time.  Please help us welcome them to our community.  Cloud & Leaf Bookstore is located at 148 Laneda Avenue.

Hiking Book Gets Manzanita Launch

unnamedAuthor Connie Soper will launch her new book “Oregon Coast Trail: 40 Consecutive Day Hikes from the Columbia River to the California Border” Thursday, Aug. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita.

The event is free and open to the public.

“I don’t consider my book a traditional trail guide,” said Soper, a part-time Manzanita resident. “I think it’s important for hikers to be aware they are walking through history, along same paths and trails first established by Native Americans and later by settlers.”

Most of the hikes listed include mile-by-mile maps, and provide tips such as which hikes are tide dependent, and how to arrange for boat rides. The book also includes historic and present day photographs, as well as stories about places passed along the way.

Cloud and Leaf Bookstore in Manzanita will provide book sales at the launch event.

Book Launch Celebration on Thursday, March 26

torn fish book coverLocal author Phyllis Mannan will introduce her recently published memoir, Torn Fish: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and Their Shared Humanity, at a book launch party at the Hoffman Center, , at 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 26. Please join her for music and refreshments, followed by a short reading. This event is free to the public.

Dr. Jean Edwards, Edwards Center founder, says, “While I know a great deal about the education and training of those with autism, Phyllis opened my eyes to a family’s journey. Her insights deeply moved me. We often hear inspirational stories about children with autism making remarkable gains, but seldom hear the story of their transition from school to adult life . . . This compelling story of David’s life with autism helps you understand the loneliness and isolation that come when communication is impaired.”

Based on the author’s experiences with her 43-year-old son, Torn Fish invites you to see how David’s mind works and how his limited ability to communicate and understand feelings impacts his daily life and that of his family. The author also offers insight from her years of struggling to make good decisions for her son, all the while trying to make, and keep, a connection with him.
Phyllis Mannan has advocated for her son and others with developmental disabilities on the board of directors of The Arc-Washington County and Edwards Center. She served as president of two family associations, one of which she helped found. Her poems have appeared in The Oregonian and northwest literary magazines. Her nonfiction has appeared in the North Coast Squid, RAIN Magazine and the Cup of Comfort series. She lives in Manzanita with her husband, Phil.

Torn Fish: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and Their Shared Humanity is available at Cloud & Leaf Bookstore and Manzanita News & Espresso, and as a print book and an e-book on Amazon.

Book Launch Celebration for Feather Mountain Press

elia nancy imageTwo long-time local writers and emerging new publishers, Elia Seely and Nancy Slavin, will celebrate the publication of their novels, respectively titled Whisper Down the Years and Moorings, on Saturday, May 4th at 7 p.m. with a Press and Book Launch at the Hoffman Center in Manzanita.

The two writers created Feather Mountain Press as a publishing venue dedicated to writers whose novels are well-written, literary, and include soulful characters and storylines.

“I am the queen of super-nice rejection letters,” Slavin says. “I had many reputable editors and agents say that my novel is lovely and good, but not sellable enough for today’s market. Elia and I understand what drives the popular market and we know publishing has changed dramatically in the past few years. Our novels don’t include zombies, werewolves, or over-descriptive sexual content and we weren’t interested in writing those books. We decided to start our own press because we whole-heartedly believe readers still want stories that transport them to compelling places and include people with struggles and transformations they can relate to in their current lives.”

“There are many writers like Virginia Woolf who started their own presses,” Seely adds. “They published their own books and then published the works of other authors who came to be well-known.”

Seely’s novel, Whisper Down the Years, is a literary mystery set in Orkney Island off the coast of Scotland, where the protagonist, Finn Ross, has retreated to find clarity about his dissolving career and marriage. Ross unwittingly discovers the body of a local eminent musician and his involvement in the case thwarts his desire to return to his native Belfast. An enigmatic island girl and her grandmother join Finn in his pursuit of the mystery, and all three find themselves caught in a web of lies and secrets, revealing threads of old sins and links to shadowy witchcraft.

Slavin’s novel, Moorings, follows a young woman, Anne Holloway, as she journeys from the lower forty-eight up to Alaska to find her biological father. While unraveling the violent, deceitful truth about her family’s history, Anne’s presence precipitates break-ups, boat crashes, and, even, unexpected storms. By making the journey, Anne discovers true identity can be found within.

For both novels, setting plays a big part in the story. In Whisper Down the Years, the barren, windy landscape of Orkney, plus the presence of folklore and ancient ruins, make a compelling backdrop for the questions of murder, power, and justice. In Moorings, the small fictional fishing village of Snug Harbor is surrounded by misty fjords, receding glaciers, and wild animals, mirroring the town’s volatile past and tightly-held secrets two decades after a major oil spill, but also pointing toward the possibility of healing for both the environment and the locals.

Feather Mountain Press’s goal is to provide a platform for other writers who are writing in traditional genres – mystery, western, commercial, etc. – but who are stepping out of the box and elevating their stories with intelligence and finely-wrought themes.  “In the U.S.,” Seely notes, “it can be hard to get a mystery published that isn’t one car chase after another or purposefully silly.  We want to encourage writers who transcend the conventions of popular genres.”

By the end of the year, Seely and Slavin look forward to finding new books for Feather Mountain Press that can really soar.

The Feather Mountain Press Book Launch is open to the public and refreshments will be served.  After Seely and Slavin read from their novels, there will be time for Q & A.  Book sales will be provided by Cloud and Leaf Bookstore in Manzanita.  The Hoffman Center is located at 594 Laneda Avenue in Manzanita.  For more information visit feathermountainpress.com.

 

Manzanita Author to Discuss New Novel

Author Dr. Mark Scott Smith, of Manzanita, will read excerpts from his new novel “Enemy in the Mirror: Love and Fury in the Pacific War” at 7 p.m., Saturday, November 3rd at the Hoffman Center in Manzanita. Admission will be free.

When Smith, an academic pediatrician, retired from the University of Washington to live in Manzanita, he became intrigued with the history of Imperial Japanese attacks on Oregon during World War II.

After several years of research here and in Japan, he published a fictionalized account of these events from both American and Japanese viewpoints. The public is invited to the presentation during which Dr. Smith will review the history of these events.

 

Book Launch and Reading April 22nd

Please join us for another book launch party on Friday, April 22nd from 6:00 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Travis Champ will read from his new book — As a Ghost Through a City of Millions.

“I was in Mexico City for six weeks this past autumn,” says Champ.  “Holed up with a typewriter in a cheap hotel.  Trying to adapt and become comfortable in the city. If anything, that is what the book is about.”

The book was printed entirely by letterpress at The Manzanita Community Printshop which is located at the Hoffman Center.  Sarah Archer designed and printed the cover and Champ bound the hardcover books by hand.

There are ongoing printmaking classes and information about that will be available at the reading as well.