Bookworm of Edwards hosts author Margo Catts for writing workshop Sept. 21 | VailDaily.com

Bookworm of Edwards hosts author Margo Catts for writing workshop Sept. 21

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EDWARDS — Author Margo Catts comes to The Bookworm on Thursday, Sept. 21, for a hands-on writing workshop focusing on character development.

Catts is the author of "Among the Lesser Gods," a novel that takes place in Leadville.

The fiction writing workshop at The Bookworm of Edwards, titled Fight or Flight, is open to all levels of writers. No prior work is necessary to bring, and the workshop will focus on instinctive responses to pressures and threats that characters feel with varying reactions.

"The physical self is rarely in any actual danger, but these other selves will also respond in an animal way when they're threatened," Catts said. "What those selves are made of — and what constitutes a threat to them — is a product of story, the narratives we create over time to explain the world."

Come to the workshop to dive deep into emotions and work through prompts to enhance current writing projects or inspire new work.

Catts said that the hardest part of the writing process is, sticking to it.

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"It's easy to hit a spot where you don't know what to do next, fritter on revisions, walk away planning to think about it, and never solve the problem," she said. "That's where holding yourself accountable to deadlines is invaluable."

A fire started by children

Speaking about her own writing style and history, Catts said that she has been writing her whole life. Writing a novel was always something for her future.

"I wrote and discarded one novel in my 20s, got busy raising kids and editing, doing business writing, always expecting I'd get around to writing another someday," she said.

After her first suspense novel wasn't published, she refined her focus. And writing "Among the Lesser Gods" started with one real-world "what if" question.

Behind the inspiration of the lead character Elena Alvarez, Catts said an article regarding a recent wildfire inspired her. The last line of the article read, "The fire is believed to have been started by children playing."

"And I thought, what happens to those children? Among the 'victims' we count those whose homes were burned, but what do those children look like five, 10, 20 years later?" she asks.

The story is set in Leadville — a town she visited on a family vacation as a child — creating a ghost-town background for her story.

"Leadville, with the mining history around it, served as the perfect real-world map pin that would let me plausibly create a fictional ghost town nearby." Catts said. "Besides, that childhood visit endeared Leadville to me ever after, and I love its ragged, rough, study-in-extremes history and present."

The novel illuminates terrible burdens that people take upon themselves and their struggle to not only survive them but to create a better life.

"What makes humans interesting — in life as well as in fiction — is the way they can surprise us," she said. "The way our quest to understand others will never be complete."

IF YOU GO …

What: Margo Catts, author of “Among the Lesser Gods,” leads writing workshop.

When: Thursday, Sept. 21, 6 p.m.

Where: The Bookworm of Edwards.

Cost: $40; includes appetizers and the copy of “Among the Lesser Gods.”

More information: Call 970-926-READ, or visit http://www.BookwormOfEdwards.com.