Oregon Books

A mother-daughter duo writes a YA novel set on the Oregon Coast

A mother-daughter duo writes a YA novel set on the Oregon Coast

interview by Sheila Miller Kim Cooper Findling and her daughter, 14-year-old Libby Findling, seem to have pulled off a near-impossible mother-daughter feat—they’ve completed a major project together and are still on speaking terms. The Findlings started writing a novel together four years ago, working together on the plot, developing the characters and crafting the story. Fast-forward four years and the book, The Sixth Storm, is a young-adult novel from Dancing Moon Press, which Cooper Findling purchased last year. The duo has traveled around Oregon doing readings, school visits and other publicity for the book, which The Oregonian recently named a new and notable YA title.  The young adult novel, set in a fictional Oregon Coast town called Starfish Cove, follows Skye Clancy, a girl whose family has a strange relationship with the weather, which has wrought death and destruction on them for decades. While the story is fictional, it picks…

If, Then: The Road Not Taken

A debut novel takes on visions of what could have been, or could be interview by Sheila G. Miller In Kate Hope Day’s new novel, If, Then, you can almost feel the gloom and fog of an Oregon mountain town pressing in on you. Put up your hood—the downpour is coming, and it’s not just rain. Day’s book takes us into the lives of a group of neighbors who live near the base of a dormant volcano known as Broken Mountain. Their lives get complicated when they begin seeing flashes of their lives, but different—a mom who didn’t die of cancer, a different partner, a new pregnancy. Day sat down with 1859 to explain just what it is about Oregon that inspired this type of imaginative work. How did you develop the idea for this first novel?It came out of two big life changes—having my first child and moving to…

Eats of Eden by Tabitha Blankenbiller

For the Love of Food: Tabitha Blankenbiller’s new book is a “foodoir” interview by Cara Strickland Originally from the Mount Rainier foothills, Tabitha Blankenbiller moved to Oregon for college, and now it’s home. Her recent book, Eats of Eden, celebrates the way food intersects with the rest of her creativity and life, and celebrates the bounty of our region.   Tell me about your book. Eats of Eden is a book about food and writing and how those two passions feed and distract from one another. I found that working on an art form takes so much concentration and energy— sometimes it’s going really well and sometimes it’s not. It’s really helpful to have some other form of expression as an outlet for when you’re feeling frustrated, tired or uninspired. For me, that art form was cooking, and has always been. Creating and loving food has always been a huge…

Every Other Weekend by Zulema Renee Summerfield

Every Other Weekend: Telling Stories Every Other Weekend takes us back in time interview by Sheila G. Miller photo by Tucker Sharon Portland author Zulema Renee Summerfield is getting high praise for her first novel, Every Other Weekend. But a few years ago, she wasn’t sure she was cut out to write one in the traditional sense. So she didn’t. “I was really struggling with how I was going to write a novel,” she said. “At the time I didn’t tell stories in big, overarching plots. I was writing a lot of flash fiction.” After reading Love and Shame and Love, a novel composed of vignettes written by her mentor and colleague Peter Orner, she knew she could write her book the way she wanted. “Novels come in all kinds of shapes,” Summerfield said. “It really freed me to write a book in vignettes, and that’s how the structure was…

The Campout Cookbook

The Campout Cookbook offers tips and tricks to up the fun on your next foray into the wilderness interview by Marnie Hanel and Jen Stevenson While kicking around ideas for their second cookbook, The Campout Cookbook, Marnie Hanel and Jen Stevenson, the IACP-award-winning authors of The Picnic, kept coming back to their favorite childhood food memories, many of which happened to involve a campfire. The result is The Campout Cookbook, a collection of more than 100 recipes designed to keep campers sated from the moment they pile into the station wagon to the final breakfast before the rubber hits the road. Here, the co-authors discuss the ins and eats of their writing process. MH: You camped quite a bit growing up. Did you ever imagine you’d write a cookbook about it? JS: Never in a million years. But looking back, it actually makes a lot of sense. We took very,…

Bibliophile: Willy Vlautin

Willy Vlautin grew up in Reno, Nevada, where “dented” people and cheap motels became his muses. His characters struggle in hard lives and tough relationships, often living in motels. Alcohol looms large, providing comfort, escape and plausible excuses in his novels.