Postcard from Ketchikan, Alaska

 

Ketchikan

Greetings from lovely Ketchikan! The sun is out, the water is shining, the eagles are calling, and the wild strawberries and salmonberries are in bloom. Here you can see where I stayed in one of NY Hotel & Cafe’s creekside cabins. I’ve had a lovely time with Maggie, Charlotte and all the welcoming people at Parnassus Books and the Ketchikan Public Library these past two days. Thank you all for the hospitality and sharing your beautiful scenery.

Next up — the state capital of Juneau.

Cheer!

Eowyn

Seeing more of Alaska

alaska map

My family and I live northeast of Anchorage, and I’m headed south to Juneau and Ketchikan — it’s nearly 1,000 miles by road, if you could drive, but Southeast Alaska is accessible only by boat or plane. (Map via www.worldatlas.com.)

Dear Alaska-bound reader,

One of the most amazing things about Alaska is its sheer size. I grew up here, and I have traveled around it quite a bit — from Anchorage to the North Slope, Chicken to Chickaloon, Cordova to Fairbanks, yet there are huge areas I have never seen. Southeast Alaska is one of those regions. For many visitors on cruise ships, this is the gateway to Alaska. But for those of us who live in Southcentral, it can seem very far away.

I’m thrilled to finally have a chance to see this part of the state. Tomorrow I fly to Ketchikan for an eventĀ  at 6:30 pm at the Ketchikan Public Library in conjunction with Parnassus Books. (More information is available by calling 907-228-2307.)

Then I go on to our state capital Juneau where Thursday 7-8:30 pm I’ll be at the Juneau Public Library, Friday 1-2 pm I’ll sign books at Hearthside Books in downtown and then that evening I’ll participate in Hearthside’s Authors at Sea Cruise, which sounds like wonderful fun. For more information and tickets, you can visit Hearthside here.

This has been one of the unexpected blessings of the publication of The Snow Child — it has given me the chance to meet booksellers, librarians and readers and to see new parts of the world, even those unexplored lands close to home.

Cheers!

Eowyn

 

Postcard from Bend, Oregon

Bend Oregon

Dear Oregon reader,

You know how you sometimes beat your own postcards home? Well, that is what has happened to me. I’m already back in Alaska, but today is the first chance I’ve had to sit down and write a postcard to you.

First let me say that the rumors are true — Deschutes County truly has the most fantastic one community, one read program. For the past 10 years, “A Novel Idea” has featured a book each year that thousands of people read together and then celebrate with programs over the course of several weeks. Past selections include The Kite Runner, The Help, and Rules of Civility. This year they chose The Snow Child, and it was an incredible privilege.

novel ideaThis is the only place in the world I’ve been where the community makes a debut novelist feel like a rock star. For the first (and probably only) time in my life I got to see my name on a marquee. I spoke in front of a sold-out house at the Tower Theatre — 500 people. For a book event! Then another several hundred people came to a nearby high school for another event the next day. And the library gets this kind of turnout every year.

This is a community that knows how to celebrate books. They sew quilts inspired by the book, they paint paintings, sketch pictures, write lovely bluegrass music — all based on the book of the year. It was a moving experience as a writer to see how others had retold the story through fabric, colored pencils, and vocal harmonies.

And most of all I enjoyed getting to know the library staff. In ways, being a writer is a lonely endeavor. There are times that I miss the office banter, the collegial joking that goes on between co-workers. The Deschutes Public Library has the kind of staff anyone would envy, and you can tell they have a lot of fun together even as they work hard. But what was most remarkable was the way they included me, even welcomed me, into their friendship and laughter. For that I will forever be grateful.

So to the quilters, artists, musicians, book clubs, readers and librarians of Deschutes County — Cheers! And thank you!

Eowyn

P.S. For those of you who know my troubles with homophones, I thought I’d confess that this postcard initially read “my name on a marquis” instead of “marquee.” I guess my name tattooed on a nobleman would be interesting, but I prefer the marquee.