Author Selden Edwards visits Vail Valley Wednesday |

Author Selden Edwards visits Vail Valley Wednesday

Besse Lynch
Avon, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailySelden Edwards - who comes to the Vail Valley Wednesday - is the author of "The Little Book"

AVON, Colorado –Some might say Selden Edwards – who comes to the Vail Valley Wednesday – has an over-active imagination. But, sometimes that’s just what it takes to pull together a novel that spans all genres to include historical fiction, romance and even a bit of suspense.

Edwards will be at Avon Public Library this week for an event sponsored by the Bookworm of Edwards. His first published novel, “The Little Book,” is the story of Wheeler Burden, philosopher, student of history, rock idol, writer and Harvard baseball hero. All this, and the novel transcends time and place when Wheeler finds himself in fin de siecle Vienna and the turn of the last century, 50 years before his birth.

It is Edwards’ relentless imagination that brings everything together in this intricately layered novel. He ultimately compels the reader to explore the meaning of time, family and death from a philosopher’s perspective.

Vail Daily: “The Little Book” has been 30 years in the making. All the while you have built a career as a headmaster at various independent schools across the country. How has being an educator informed your novel over the years?

Selden Edwards: There is much in the story that has to do with schools and teaching and helping others with awareness. I began my career as an English teacher and then became a headmaster. Since my whole professional life involved teaching, it is not surprising that teaching plays such a large part in my story.

VD: Did you always know you wanted to write?

SE: I started writing short stories when I began teaching in the ’60s. Then I tackled novels in the ’70s. I was never successful, so I didn’t really call myself a writer. But I loved sitting down and cranking out fiction for an hour or two. I found it very therapeutic, I guess, an escape maybe. For some reason, I kept writing my “Vienna novel.” I never gave up. I just loved thinking up plot elements and writing them out. There was an orderliness to it that captivated me.

VD: Much of “The Little Book” takes place in Vienna at the turn of the last century. What drew you to this period?

SE: Way back in 1974, a friend introduced me to a book called “Wittgenstein’s Vienna” and that got me going on the physical setting and the time period. Over the years, I have read many books about Vienna around 1897. I guess you’d say I got hooked. I loved writing about that place and time.

VD: How has your life changed since the publication of “The Little Book”?

SE: Publishing a novel was a life goal, so having a debut novel at my age is a fabulous dream. Since my novel’s acceptance by Dutton over two years ago, I have been very busy, first editing and now keeping up with all the publicity assignments. I totally love it and am living out a life dream.

VD: Are you working on anything new at the moment?

SE: Yes, I was lucky enough to have sold a second novel to my publisher, due in a year. It’s a continuation of the current story. It takes place in 1918, at the end of the Great War. It is a sequel or prequel, depending how you look at it.

VD: What is your writing process like?

SE: Well considering it took me 30 years to finish my first novel, I guess you’d say that I have an unusual writing style. I love to write in the morning, when I’m fresh, and I do a lot of thinking and imagining when I’m not writing. I have a pretty fertile imagination.

VD: Who are your favorite authors/books?

SE: I love Pat Conroy, John Irving, Larry McMurtry, you know, the big novel writers. I was an English teacher, so I love Fitzgerald and Mark Twain. I love best “The Great Gatsby” and “Catcher in the Rye”. I’m also a big fan of Richard Ford, whom I knew before he was famous.

Besse Lynch works at the Bookworm of Edwards.

What: The Bookworm presents Live at the Library with Selden Edwards, author of “The Little Book”

Where: Avon Public Library

When: 6 p.m. Wednesday

Cost: Free.

More information: Call 970-926-READ or visit

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