I am privileged to know several of our state's finest. I'm listing their names and links below. Meanwhile ladies your websites are far superior to what I've put together here so I am simply going to introduce you to each other and to any readers who might stumble into my quirky little corner of cyberspace and I invite you to use the comment section below to say more about yourselves and your work. For my part, I admire all of you!
PAT BERTRAM: I have not actually met Pat in person but we've corresponded since I reviewed her book Light Bringer for www.bookpleasures.com and at my request she and I exchanged books. As much as I enjoyed Light Bringer, I liked Daughter Am I even more (what's not to love about a young woman driving a car full of geriatric mobsters in search of information about the grandparents she never knew?). Her quirky mountain characters also share some of my own political views so that was cool. Check out Pat's site @ http://patbertram.com
MARGARET GUTHRIE: I had the pleasure of meeting Margaret in Estes Park a few years ago when the library bookclub invited me to come discuss my book Stillbird. She asked me to look at her mss. & I was much impressed with a beautifully written book about forgiveness, a subject that very much interests me. I recommended it to my partner in this business of publishing independence, Peter agreed and we published The Return shortly thereafter. Now I'm excited to report that a literary agency in Prague is interested in it. You can read about her and The Return on our site: www.thewessexcollective.com
LINDA LeBLANC: After reviewing Beyond the Summit for the Boulder Daily Camera I was curious to meet the author, find out how she came to write so well about climbing Everest. Had she done it? Turns out Linda was a guide to groups going as far as base camp and established a series of huts along the way. She took an interest in the lives of the Sherpas who earned their scant livings doing very tough work and her book delves into the culture, and the changes caused by tourism with insight and sensitivity. Check out her sites: www.beyondthesummit-novel.com
and about a new work in progress: www.caseyrenaissancefair.com
MARY SARACINO: I met Mary when we were both invited to participate in the Englewood Library "Meet the Author" event (which Linda told me about). I was there with Three Novellas and Mary was there with her exquisite novel, The Singing of Swans. I don't think I sold any books but the event was worthwhile because of this rewarding friendship. Check out these links:
www.marysaracino.com , http://marysaracino.blogspot.com ,
JACKIE ST. JOAN: I first met Jackie St. Joan when I represented Russell Means in her courtroom after the first of several Columbus Day protests. We were delighted to get a good judge! St. Joan is not only a good judge but a dedicated advocate for women's rights and a leader in the movement to help victims of domestic violence. Her novel My Sisters Made of Light is a poetically written novel about honor crimes against women in Pakistan and when you buy this book you do two things: get yourself a good book and contribute to a good cause as she donates 50% of all proceeds to an organization building a shelter for women and children in Pakistan. Check out these links:
jacquelinestjoan.com and mysistersmadeoflight.com
&U can find my review of Sisters on www.pagereaders.com (scroll down a LOT).
ITA WILLEN: last but by no means least, I met Ita in the 9th grade where I gravitated toward the new student with a violin case in one hand and a pile of books in the crook of her arm. Ita was the person who inspired me to start writing in the first place although I knew I'd never be as good as she was and is. Years later, she was the inspiration for me to suggest starting The Wessex Collective to Peter Burnham back in 2005. Although her first book, The Grubbag was published by Random House in 1972, she didn't follow the path her editor wished to dictate and was later turned down when she offered her memoir The Gift for publication. Yes I wanted to publish my novel Stillbird and Peter wanted to publish his novel Envious Shadows both of which were scheduled for publication in Mumbai (in both English and Marathi) before Pushpa Prakashan, Ltd. went under, but he also wanted to publish the works of his mentor Wm. Davey (deceased in 1999) and I wanted to publish the works of my role model, Ita Willen and without the inspiration of these two fine authors we would not have gone to all the trouble of starting and maintaining the collective. She continues to be a role model to me in all aspects of life today. Ita is also on our wessex site. Look for her collection of short stories, Triple Vision, later this year.