Tags: Broadway Books

Crazy Eights and the Wider World

by Ruth Tenzer Feldman
Published on: October 3, 2012
Comments: 1 Comment

When Portland-based author George Wright pitched a crazy idea to me a while back, I had no clue how sane he was. George wanted to put together a tour in which eight Oregon authors would visit eight independent bookstores in Oregon in eight weeks from September into November. Not every author was expected to show up at every gig. There would be 28 of us sharing the load.

Two days later I was officially part of the Crazy Eights Author Tour, and I had signed up for three events: Baker City (September 14), Cannon Beach (September 22), and Redmond (September 28). I’m not a part of the next event, which is scheduled for this Thursday, Oct. 4, at 7 p. m. at Broadway Books, in Portland. I plan to be in the audience, though, because I am now hooked on hanging around authors who for the most part do not write for children or young adults. The notable exception for Crazy Eights, I think, is April Henry, whose book, Girl, Stolen, was a finalist for the 2011 Oregon Book Award in the young adult category.

Over the last few weeks I’ve come to know poets and journalists. I’ve met with creative types who write memoirs, articles, essays, fantasy-zine novels, zany romance novels, historical fiction, and nonfiction–all for the adult market. All of these folks share with me a passion for words and an urge to communicate a certain truth (sometimes factual, sometimes not). I’ve come away from the experience energized and refreshed.

Don’t get me wrong. I am very much at home within The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and I am particularly excited about the upcoming programs in SCBWI Oregon. I doubt that I would get as much as I do from critique with Viva Scriva if I were the only person in the group who wrote for children or young adults.

Still, it feels good to step into the wider world of writers every once in a while. It generates creativity from a different angle, and excites those little gray cells in a most satisfying manner. What sane writer wouldn’t want that sort of craziness?

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