The Reading Corner Newsletter

August 2020

Hello again Readers!

Reflection:

A year ago (seems like 10 years ago now), my husband asked me to carve out the month of July for a month-long boating trip. At that time, I had planned to be traveling for the release of Answer Creek during May and June and again in October and November. All of the spring events were cancelled due to COVID-19, and it’s likely that the fall events will be cancelled as well. But the boating trip was not cancelled! Make sure to read my most recent blog about writing out on the water.  You can also follow me on social media at Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Publishing Update:

 

It’s always a thrill to see your own books on bookstore shelves. While boating around Washington’s San Juan Islands, we visited three of our favorite island bookstores: Darvill’s on Orcas Island, Lopez Bookshop on Lopez Island, and Griffin Bay Books on San Juan Island. Here’s a pic of me at Darvill’s with my first novel, Eliza Waite. Answer Creek was sold out when we visited at all the shops, but new orders are in.

I was honored to take part in the International Steinbeck Conference earlier in August with three other authors, Shelley Blanton-Stroud, Gretchen Cherington, and Myra Goodman, on a panel titled Resilience in Literature. We analyzed a passage from Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and talked about the concept of resilience in Steinbeck’s works, our own works, and the world at large today. About five minutes into the live session, we experienced a technical glitch where audience participants lost the live feed for a few minutes—so we had a dose of resilience in real time! View the panel on YouTube here.

Also, if your book club is interested in having me join your discussion on Answer Creek, contact me! I’m booking into 2021 for virtual book clubs over Zoom and love to connect with readers

Recent Eclectic Choices:

Inland, Tea Obreht

Cherokee America, Margaret Verble

This Tender Land, William Kent Krueger

The Adventures of John Carson in Several Quarters of the World, Brian Doyle

Winner!

Chosen randomly, Theresa Deloian Alexander is the winner of July’s “There’s Always a Prize” question naming a miner in my upcoming novel, Jericho. Please contact me Terry so I can send your $10 Starbucks ASAP.

A few of my favorite suggestions for miner’s names offered by readers (you’ll probably see them in print):

Red
Slim
Smitty
Copper
Old Turq
Jimmy Bugg

There’s Always a Prize Question:

Here’s your chance to name the silver mine where my protagonist has a large stake. I’m thinking of El Cantanto, but I’m open to other names.

Send me an email (at contact@ashleysweeneyauthor.com) to answer for a chance to win a $10 Starbucks gift card (chosen randomly on the last day of the month).

 

ARIZONA FACTOID ABOUT MINES :

One of the Arizona mining towns I’m basing my fictional town of Jericho on is Jerome, Arizona. In its heyday the late 1800s, Jerome, which is located between Flagstaff and Prescott in north central Arizona, was known as the “wickedest town in the west.” It boasted thriving copper silver, gold, and mines. Researching mining is Arizona could be a doctoral thesis!

 

In closing . . .

Like many of you, I’ve been challenging myself to read more from minority and foreign-born writers. Right now, I’m in the middle of Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Anti-Racist. As a writer, and as a human, I’m compelled to challenge norms. I was also moved by the late Rep. John Lewis’s op-ed in The New York Times on the day of his funeral. Here’s a quote that will stay with me: “Each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up and speak out. When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something.”

Until next month, Happy Reading!

Ashley

 

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