Joining us this new year are four diverse and talented authors whose books span the literary gamut, from memoir, to fiction, to our first children’s book. Here’s a taste of the exciting reads that await!
Addie Greene’s memoir, How the Winds Laughed, which recounts the author’s adventure sailing around the world in a 28-foot boat, began as ninety articles written for the Santa Barbara News-Press. Addie says, “Turning the articles into creative non-fiction with scenes, dialogue, and dramatic tension was like trying to reattach the shed hairs to my golden lab, Daphne. My critique group was of immense help. Then my editor, Molly Tinsley, took over and advised me to turn the dog hair into a fur coat.”
Addie grew up on a small ranch in the Goleta Valley, just north of Santa Barbara, California. An only child, she became her father’s “son.” He taught her the beauty of the land—about the feel of moist loam in her fingers, the taste of walnuts just fallen. In college, she met Peter Eastman, who taught her the beauty of the sea. They were drawn to it, to taste its depths and its glories, eventually taking two years to circumnavigate the globe. After making her living as a journalist and technical writer in southern California for nearly 25 years, she returned to writing fiction after relocating to Ashland, Oregon in 2000.
Leaving Tuscaloosa, written by Walter Bennett, already has the distinction of being a 2010 Bellwether Prize Finalist. It takes place during thirty-six hours in a racially charged Alabama town in 1962. A white boy, cruising the black “side” of town at night with his buddies, throws an egg that results in the death of a revered leader of the black community. Meanwhile, in the dark countryside, a young black civil rights worker kills a deputy sheriff who comes to arrest him. From these two events springs a gripping narrative, bringing together the lives of two young men–one white, one black-–in a fiery climax that changes them forever.
Walter Bennett is a former lawyer, judge, and law professor, who lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He has published short fiction in both print and on-line journals, numerous articles on the legal profession, and one highly acclaimed book: The Lawyer’s Myth: Reviving Ideals in the Legal Profession (University of Chicago Press, 2001). He is a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
In May of 2006, Marty Muguira’s life changed forever. She went from enjoying boundless health, energy, personal happiness, and professional success, to being a critically ill patient fighting for her life. Diagnosed with a rare incurable blood cancer called multiple myeloma with “light chains,” she underwent aggressive chemotherapy treatment.
In 2007, determined to retrain herself to read and write (abilities severely diminished by her cancer treatments) and encouraged by her daughter, Marty Muguira began writing “updates”—blog-like communications of hope, love, pain, despair, anger, and inspiration that helped her find the light to keep living, despite a terrible illness. These updates, or “chains of light,” eventually became Moments in Time with Mar, a memoir that chronicles the passage from illness towards hope.
Born in Mexico City and selected by the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico for a scholarship to NC Wesleyan College, Marty Maguira moved to the states as a teen. She received her BA in Psychology, an MS in Education from Old Dominion University, and a Doctorate in Education from The College of William & Mary. She has worked as an Associate Editor, helping to launch Hispanic Student USA, as a licensed therapist in private practice, as Clinical Director of a non-profit providing specialized services to families in need, and as an Executive Director of Homeward, an organization that catalyses the effective use of homeless services.
In 2009, when seven-year-old Aidan Patrick Meath saw his father Jason publish a book, Aidan decided he wanted to write one too. For his story, the boy combined his two favorite things in life–summer trips to the beach and pizza–and, presto, The Pepperoni Palm Tree was born. A story about the only tree of its kind in the world and a boy named Frederick, it portrays the challenge of being true to oneself and celebrates the uniqueness that enables each of us to shine, and thus enlighten the world. Aidan is currently in third grade at Mater Dei School in Bethesda, MD. He lives with his many books, Mom, and Dad in Washington, DC.
Jason Killian Meath is Aidan’s dad and author of the book Hollywood on the Potomac (Arcadia, 2009). He has created, written, directed, and produced television programs appearing on The Discovery Channel, PBS, USA Networks, and ABC Family Story. Awards include Best Screenplay at the Austin Heart of Film Screenwriter’s Competition, 3 CINE awards, the GI Film Festival’s Military Channel Documentary Film Prize. A long time media strategist, he is President of Xenophon Strategies Advertising and Advocacy, a leading public relations firm. He resides with his wife, Renee, and son, Aidan, in Washington, D.C.