Shirley Welch, author of ‘Mister Fahrenheit,’ comes to Vail Public Library
If you go …
What: Discussion with Shirley Welch, author of “Mister Fahrenheit.”
Where: Vail Public Library, 292 W. Meadow Drive, Vail.
When: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6
More information: Call 970-479-2184, or visit vaillibrary.com.
VAIL — On July 6, 1994, a roaring blaze exploded in South Canyon near the base of Storm King Mountain in Glenwood Springs. That day, author Shirley Welch’s family drove past the smoke in the early morning, and by evening, the smoke had turned into an inferno and 14 firefighters were dead.
This incident left a lasting impression on Welch, beginning her journey of learning about firefighters and wild-land forest fires and providing inspiration for her novel “Mister Fahrenheit.” Welch’s book takes place near Minturn, with mention of Beaver Creek Resort and, later, the hospital in Vail.
“Mister Fahrenheit” is part suspense and part humor with a lot of information tossed in about forest fires. It describes the backcountry around Cross Creek and west to Beaver Creek. Welch will discuss her book during an Evenings of Engagement event at the Vail Public Library on Wednesday.
Welch will share how she came to write “Mister Fahrenheit” and give a brief description of the Storm King Mountain fire and how the science of firefighting is not exact. She will also briefly share her knowledge of the book-writing process, as well as the challenges of publishing.
About the book
In “Mister Fahrenheit,” cop killer Wayne Dobbs sets a forest fire to hide his crime and escapes into the White River National Forest in Colorado. Firefighter Crush Fahrenhold is in the area with Sen. Jud Henderson to promote fire safety. Reporter Kitty Sanders is also there to cover a wedding at a swank resort.
Sent to the fire scene by helicopter, Crush and Kitty survive the helicopter crashing. Until he is injured, Crush is responsible for Kitty, and then Kitty becomes responsible for Crush. Now the fire is in front of them and Dobbs is behind them. Who will get out alive?
About the author
A longtime resident of the Vail Valley, Welch writes living histories for senior citizens and has authored “The Eagle River Valley,” “The Last Anasazi” and “Vail: The First 50 Years.” She is the principal chronicle writer for Vail Valley Magazine. In 2009, she was awarded the Nimon-Walker Award for contributing to Eagle County’s Historical record.
Welch has uploaded several e-books, including “Sammy Little,” “Other Lives,” “Dark Horse,” “The Sexy U Girl” and “Mister Fahrenheit.” She lives in Edwards with her husband and assorted animals. She plays tennis, skis, tends a big garden, rides horses and chases after her five grandchildren.
Welch has also written several living histories, including Dr. Tom Steinberg, Vail’s first doctor; Frank Doll, whose family helped settle Gypsum and who was a storyteller at the Hyatt Hotel for 16 years; and Frank Maloit, whose father was the superintendent at the Gilman Mine for 25 years and who grew up in Gilman during the 1920s era.
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