Colorado offers residents a myriad of activities from skiing and hiking mountains, to relaxing at musical events. These events provide not only entertainment, but also fodder for literature. The Bookworm of Edwards is highlighting local authors on Monday at 6 p.m. by inviting them to share their work and inspiration with book-lovers and thrill-seekers. These authors’ work spans many genres — from children’s books to sports adventures.
Author and photographer Dagny McKinley seeks to empower women and promote environmentalism through her adult and children’s books. Her discussion at The Bookworm will focus on “The Adventures of a Girl & Her Dog,” a tale about the love between people and animals.
Through her writing, she expresses hopes to teach children what she wishes she had known in her own youth. Her inspiration stems from “spending time in nature, from a random remark a person says or a desire to share things that have touched me deeply,” she said.
Athena Marquez is the executive administrator at Beaver Creek Lodge, and a children’s book author. Her highlighted book is “Leave It to the Beavers,” a story about family values, nature and work. Marquez said that she wishes to instill the values of “family, sharing, teamwork, hope and fun” in her audience.
“An inspired child is a motivated child,” she said. Marquez shows children to take an interest in ordinary objects around them. From those, children can see beyond life’s surface and see deeper meaning in people and events.
Nancy Saltzman, former elementary school principle and teacher, wrote “Radical Survivor: One Woman’s Path Through Life, Love and Uncharted Territory.” This biography begins with every woman’s worst two nightmares: her diagnosis with breast cancer and the unexpected death of her sons and husband. Despite this supremely depressing start, Saltzman encourages readers to return to normalcy and shows them her route to a new life.
She acknowledges that each path to returning to a normal life is different, but believes that by focusing on her goal in life, she overcame much of the pain of her family’s death and her breast cancer diagnosis.
“Initially, I focused on what I believed was my purpose — working with children, teachers and families to make a difference in their lives. I went back to work one week after the plane crash because I wanted to be there for the students and staff to show that even when something tragic happens in our lives that we have to keep going,” she said.
The love and support that poured in from her students, co-workers, family and strangers kept her going through that horrible time. Her memoir is a product of this support, and has allowed her to recover to the point that she is happily engaged and looking forward to another, hopefully more peaceful, adventure.
Fred Wolfe is a familiar face in Vail’s real estate circles and on its surrounding mountains. His day job is with the Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty office in Vail, but his passion is rock climbing. His book “High Summits: 370 Famous Peak First Ascents and Other Significant Events in Mountaineering History,” is a compilation of ten years of research, and many more years of mountain experience.
Introduced to rock climbing by his father at 10-years-old, Wolfe has spent 35 years exploring the nooks and crannies of the sport. He wants to “share (his) love of mountains with other people,” and to provide a history of climbing “in one book for all seven continents.”
Paul Golden is a Colorado native, long time local resident of Vail and first time author. His novel, “Ski Bumming for Stash,” cleverly plays on words using “stash” to allude to fresh, untracked snow and hidden Nazi treasure in the mountains. But this book is not only a jaunty treasure hunt, but it also tracks ski personalities in Colorado during the 1970s.
This cultural novel is certainly a romp. For history lovers and ski-culture enthusiasts, it is a must read. Golden’s travels through Europe and Colorado make his plot rich and colorful, lending a fresh voice to the plethora of Nazi war-treasure literature available.
Leigh Horton is the journalism intern at The Bookworm of Edwards and a senior at the Colorado School of Mines.