In the unlikely event you're near the town of Stevenson, Washington in the Columbia River Gorge on Thursday night, I will be there too and you should come say "Hi." The friends of the local library system chose A Fire Story as this year's "Skamania County Reads" book, which means they've distributed copies of it and held events like book groups, art exhibits, and fire safety seminars leading up to my visit.
I'm scheduled to give four comics-making workshops for students from two local schools in the morning and afternoon, followed by a community talk at Hegewald Auditorium at 6 p.m. That's a lot packed into one day, but I'm game.
You may recall I did a similar event last year in Hood River, Oregon, which is a few miles upstream and on the opposite bank of the Columbia from Stevenson. The Eagle Creek Fire scoured the Gorge at just about the same time my fire tore through Sonoma County in 2017, so both towns thought my book was a good fit for their local concerns. Also, the Stevenson folks flat out told me they'd noticed what Hood River did last year and basically said, "Hey, we should get that guy." And so they did.
Having a book named a "community read" or "book in common" is an enormous honor for me. The idea that a library or college finds something I wrote interesting and relevant enough to ask everyone to read it is amazing. I didn't even know such things existed when I started writing books, but it's one of the most gratifying benefits of the job. Both Fire Story and Mom's Cancer have been so honored. I'm proud of that.
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