Authors give insight into writing process
September 6, 2001
Steamboat Springs — A woman came into Bud Werner Memorial Library Tuesday pleading for a ticket to the ninth annual Literary Sojourn Saturday.
She begged said she would do anything.
“I’ll vacuum, I’ll dust whatever you need me to do to get a ticket,” library board director Chris Painter remembered.
Although the library crew did find the woman a ticket, all 475 Literary Sojourn tickets sold out by Wednesday afternoon.
“I can’t believe how excited people are. People are still calling in to volunteer,” Painter said of the 20 volunteers the committee has recruited.
The Strings in the Mountains Tent will open Saturday afternoon with a flood of book lovers and authors willing to share fantasies, escapades and sagas with each other.
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Painter said Literary Sojourn was intended to create a comforting atmosphere to allow authors to explain the what, where, when, why and how of their books and give readers an insight to their favorites.
Painter said the committee is scrambling to make sure authors get into Steamboat on time with no hassles. Two final authors will arrive today.
Although the Strings Tent holds 540 people in theater-style rows, Literary Sojourn will need to accommodate for author book signing and tables for refreshments; hence, the 475 maximum of tickets.
Literary Sojourn traditionally is held in the Sheraton Grand Ballroom, but because the event is in the Strings Tent this year, round table seating will not accommodate all the patrons, Painter said.
Each author will speak for about 40 minutes on the intricacies of his or her book where ideas came from, where characters originated, the writing lifestyle and what motivated them to write.
Painter said she hopes the audience and authors will engage in an energetic discussion over the topics of some books.
For instance, Chris Bohjalian wrote “Midwives,” “Water Witches,” “Past the Bleachers” and “Trans-Sister Radio,” all of which have stirred controversial discussions.
Other authors at the 2001 Literary Sojourn include Andre Dubus III, author of “House of Sand and Fog” and “Bluesman,” Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of “Deep End of the Ocean,” The Most Wanted” and “The Rest of Us: Dispatches from the Mother Ship,” Sena Jeter Naslund, author of “Ahab’s Wife” and “The Disobedience of Water” and Donna Gershten, author of “Kissing the Virgin’s Mouth.”
Book lovers will be able to chat with authors during a book signing and cocktail hour at Cafiva following the event.
In a collaborative effort of Bud Werner Memorial Library and Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, the two entities provide a happenstance choice of authors for people in the Yampa Valley to know more intimately.
A committee of about seven people gather just weeks after Literary Sojourn ends to comprehend the pros and cons of the event. This group also creates a list and sends letters to about 50 authors, hoping about five will respond and want to visit Steamboat Springs.
Leslie Ryan, owner of Off the Beaten Path, said she thinks the strong lineup of authors this year and allow other activities for the day will entice book lovers to attend Literary Sojourn. The event begins about noon and ends with a reception celebration about 6 p.m.