Monday, March 10, 2008

My Town Monday Mash-Up

Travis Erwin and friends are blogging about their towns on Mondays. For my entry, this week, I want to talk about some of the writers who live in Denver (and the surrounding area...stretching "my town" to include the Front Range).

It's amazing how many published writers live here. I get emails from the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers list serve. I belong to Lighthouse Writers Workshop. I'm a member of the Denver Literary Ladies. And I still don't know (or know of) all the working writers in town. I know this because one of them, J.D. Mason, emailed me after seeing the review in Essence. Here we are both sister-writers in the same city and have never met. (Though we're going to remedy that next month!)

Some of our local writers are quite famous (Diane Mott Davidson, Rick Reilly, Stephen White, Joan Borysenko) so they don't need any extra love from this blog. Following are some of the writers not so famous (though they should be!) who live in (or near) Denver. We got everything from memoirists to literary novelists to genre writers. Something for everyone!

Elizabeth Wrenn, the novel Around the Next Corner
Kim Reid, author of the amazing memoir No Place Safe (see Q&A here)
J.D. Mason, best-selling novels including, This Fire Down in My Soul
Donna Gershten, the novel Kissing the Virgin's Mouth (winner of the Bellwether Prize for Fiction)
Nick Arvin, the highly acclaimed novella Articles of War (see a great Q&A with Nick here)
Robin D. Owens, RITA-award-winning author of novels including Keepers of the Flame
Debra Fine, internationally known conversation expert, author of The Fine Art of the Big Talk
Andrea Cohen, M.D., editor of A Blessing in Disguise: 39 Life Lessons from Today's Greatest Teachers
William Haywood Henderson, literary novels including Augusta Locke
Marisol, The Lady, the Chef, the Courtesan
Karen Degroot Carter, One Sister's Song
Robert Greer, author of the CJ Floyd Mysteries
Mario Acevedo, author of the Felix Gomez vampire stories
Shari Caudron, author of nonfiction including Who Are You People?
Constance Hardesty, Grow Your Own Pizza: Gardening Plans and Recipes for Kids
Marilyn Raff, The Intuitive Gardener: Finding Creative Freedom in the Garden
Eli Gottlieb, novels including the highly acclaimed Now You See Him
Janis Hallowell, novels including The Annunciation of Francesca Dunn and the forthcoming She Was
Karen Palmer, novels including Border Dogs
Sandra Dallas, best-selling novels including Tall Grass and nonfiction about Colorado
Susan Skog, award-winning author of Peace in Our Lifetime and other uplifting books
John Dunning, author of the Cliff Janeway mysteries

I know there are many, many others I'm forgetting. If you know one or if you are one, drop a note in the comments.

And on another note, thinking about best-selling rankings and the Who's Who of local writers made me think about the best books that nobody knows about. When I was a book-seller at the Tattered Cover I used to hand-sell I Asked for Intimacy: Stories of Blessings, Betrayals and Birthings by Renita Weems. I would place the one copy the store stocked on the staff recommends shelf. It would sell and the store would order another and as soon as it came in, I'd put it back out on the staff recommends shelf. I took it as my personal duty to share this slim volume of lovely, moving essays.

What would you recommend as the best book that nobody else has heard of?


Julie Layne said...

Barbara Samuel is in the Springs. I haven't read any of her romances (both as Ruth Wind and Barbara Samuel, I think), but she also writes lovely women's fiction and teaches some great online classes. My favorite WFs are No Place Like Home and Lady Luck's Map of Vegas.

Larramie said...

Although it had somewhat of a cult following decades ago, my all-time favorite book -- that no one seems to have heard of -- is Time and Again by Jack Finney.

And I can't help but wonder, Carleen, if it's that mile-high altitude that sparks you and your fellow Denver writers?

Travis Erwin said...

There is a lot of talent in your area. Isn't Kent Haruf from your parts as well? or did I dream that?

lyzzydee said...

I think the huge number of tallented peopl is having a negative effect on my town where we seem to have very few tallented people!

Lisa said...

Wow, we do have far more writers here than one might suspect and I think it would be really tough to come up with a complete list. For as many writers as you've listed, I thought of several more. It's no wonder Denver is about to get another literary agent and Kristen Nelson will no longer be the only one. I feel incredibly lucky to live here (even though I'm not "here" right now -- I'm in San Antonio where my luggage is not -- yet) :)

Lana Gramlich said...

Very kind of you to offer "props" to your local little guys. I would recommend "Cold in the Light," by Charles Gramlich. I may be biased, but I would honestly say it was one of the best books I've ever read. The cliffhanger chapter endings were almost painful!

The Anti-Wife said...

How wonderful to have such talent in your city. I met Kim Reid at Backspace last year and was very impressed.

Carleen Brice said...

Julie, Thanks for the tip!

Larramie, Are you trying to say we in Denver are high? :-)

Travis, Yes! You are right. Good addition to my list.

Lyzzydee, Thanks for dropping by...I'm sure many of us here wouldn't mind visiting the UK to spread our talents around! :-)

Lisa, I know it's not a complete list by any means. And your situation in San An is the reason I'm packing light on book tour: carry on only! Though my best friend says I might sell more books if people see me disheveled and wrinkled. Something to think about....

Lana, That is incredibly sweet and I'll definitely check out Charles' book!

Anti-wife, Yep. Kim is great!!

Larramie said...

High enough, Carleen, to possibly be touched with heavenly inspiration! ;)

WordVixen said...

Auralia's Colors by Jeffery Overstreet. Brilliant, well thought out, and highly unique. Completely floored me, and it's his first published novel. (Fantasy)