Local love for Vail Valley authors
Ryan Summerlin April 21, 2013
There’s something special about bringing together a group of authors who are part of the community where their books are sold. This is the case with the six authors participating in Monday’s Local Author Showcase at The Bookworm of Edwards. Whether an author is a Colorado native or a recent transplant, each of them brings a fresh voice and unique experience to our small, mountain community.As brick and mortar book stores contend with the digital era, it becomes more and more challenging for local authors to realize their story and idea as a tangible book. The Bookworm dedicates a good portion of its shelf space to support local authors and themes and welcomes dozens of first-time authors each year. The top 100 best-selling titles of 2012 were dominated by all things local, according to co-owner and book buyer Nicole Magistro.The showcase, held each spring and fall, is one of many homegrown events hosted at the store to promote community and local literature.Children’s books educate and cultivateEducator and author Michelle Rodenburg was challenged to come up with animals that started with the letters “X” and “Z” in her alphabet book “Colorado Creatures.” The solution turned out to be scientific names and the help of Colorado illustrator Eric Fronapfel. This A to Z book is Rodenburg’s seventh children’s book and includes interesting information on local animals. “Being an author gives me the opportunity to talk to groups of children and do writing workshops to inspire them to write. Many children do not realize they have a story to tell,” Rodenburg said.After teaching her own kids how to ski, author and illustrator Annie B. Fox created Sonder, a cute, fuzzy snake who lives in the snow and wants to be good at something. Through her book “Sonder the Snow Snake,” children will learn about patience and the aesthetic of being in the present. Fox, like many local authors, had an idea in her head she had to get out but commented, “Putting an idea out there can be scary. I encourage anyone to go forth and create.”The lost art of entertaining”Eclectic Entertaining” is the gorgeous result of Barbara Stafford’s years of entertaining and countless requests for dinner menus by friends. With a skill for planning menus and grocery lists, Stafford created a user-friendly cookbook to bring back the art of dinner parties with time saving tips and easy to make recipes. “I have attended many cooking classes and just love to host dinner parties,” Stafford said. “I take pride in going the extra mile to have friends over for an enjoyable evening of good food and lots of laughs.” Keep an eye out for Stafford’s next book featuring small plate recipes.Novelist explores aging and inevitabilityIn his first novel, “Cottonwood,” Tom Dawson communicates important lessons learned from his experiences in Vietnam, along with what it is like growing old in the 21st century. Dawson’s life experiences as an aging Vietnam vet helped him create this fictional tale to explore how men deal with aging and understanding inevitability.”Colorado gives an author a unique perspective,” Dawson said. “Maybe it’s because of the altitude, the thin air or the intensity of the sun. The experience somehow is both invigorating and motivational. Makes you want to get up, get out and live to the fullest.”Local recreation on wheelsMountain bikers turned authors Bob and Laura Turitz couldn’t understand why they kept getting lost in their own backyard, which resulted in the creation of “Mountain Bike Eagle,” the first Eagle trail guide book for biking enthusiasts. The Turitz’s stated, “Our greatest challenges were definitely technical. GPS equipment is not full-proof, weather does not always cooperate with your plan, and sometimes there is a bull on the trail you need to ride who has no interest in letting you pass.” Overcoming these challenges produced a trail guide which is also the story of a community. In addition to maps and directions, there are stories about how some trails came to be, the people who built them and the places the community gathers. Expect a second edition with more routes and trails soon.Getting creative with paperHelen Hiebert has worked with paper for nearly 20 years and authored four books on the topic including her most recent release, “Playing with Paper.” Through a series of projects, Hiebert shows the variety and potential of paper, including a gallery featuring the work of 20 contemporary paper artists. These artists are doing amazing things with paper, from origami to paper cutting, and paper filagree to tessellation. Look for upcoming workshops on projects in the book, as well as papermaking and lamp making.Kelli Kostroski is the marketing and events manager at The Bookworm of Edwards.