Book signing set to spark local authors

Successful writer recounts life during WWII while living in Walden

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— Bud Werner Memorial Library hosts a local author book signing, reading and discussion with Michala "Mickey" Miller for a brown bag lunch program.

At noon Tuesday, Miller will present a reading of her new book, "The View From the Folding Chairs," which recalls life during World War II in Walden, population 600 in the 1940s.

In Miller's memoirs, she places the reader on the porch of her childhood summer home where she retells life in the days of collecting gum wrappers, following the progress of the war and reading by kerosene lamps in the evenings.

"It's all true, but it's all from my point of view and how it affected us," Miller said.

Chris Painter, library director, said the library chose Miller for the book signing because it wants to show support and encouragement of local authors that reap success.

"Mickey has been working on this book for 15 years," Painter said. "It's quite an achievement to see it published. She's done a tremendous amount of research in the library."

Seeing the success of friends and neighbors gives Painter and the library much delight.

"There's something about seeing a local person see success at something they love and have been working so hard at," Painter said.

Miller spent 15 years writing her first book, "The View From the Folding Chairs."

"I really didn't set out to write a book. I just wanted my children to know more about World War II than what was in the books," Miller said. "Books were so name, date and that was it."

Miller wanted her children to know that the people at home were fighting the war also with their work ethics and rationing.

While the short-story format of the book took her the majority of about 15 years to write, Miller said the past two years she "wrote like crazy."

"I sent two essays to the publishers and they wanted to see all of them. So, then I sent them all and they said, 'That's not enough,'" Miller said.

Miller said she wrote the ending years ago and had to look deeper into the past to remember some of the small details.

"The dropping of the atomic bomb is the ending, then I just filled in the pieces. I was greatly relieved," Miller said of finishing the final product.

She first wrote the book in longhand, then transcribed her manuscript to a computer.

The book contains 180 pages, with 24 pencil drawings by Hayden resident Jean Kashner.

Having grown up in North Park, and being the granddaughter of Irish immigrants who settled in Leadville in 1878, Miller now lives with her geologist husband in Steamboat Springs.

Miller recently retired as a bailiff with the Routt County Court system. She is a 17-year member of the Steamboat Writers' Group.

Painter said the library encourages people to bring a brown bag lunch because of people's busy schedules.

"It's a typical Steamboat brown bag tradition," Painter said, adding the library will provide lemonade and cookies.

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