It’s been a long time, but I’m excited to share a few things with you:
- My essay about fossil hunting with my mom, the poet Julie LeMay, in the Talkeetna Mountains was published in the Wall Street Journal this week. You can read it here https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-risks-of-fossil-hunting-in-alaskas-wilderness-1485961200
- Also this week, I celebrated the fifth anniversary of the publication of The Snow Child! In honor of the day, I posted some photographs on the publisher Little, Brown and Company’s account over at Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/littlebrown/
- Tonight I’m doing a dinner talk with my mom here in Palmer, Alaska, about the publication of her collection of poetry, The Echo of Ice Letting Go. The event, coordinated by Fireside Books, is sold out, but copies of her book are available through Fireside Books and can be ordered online or through your local bookstore.
- And finally, just a reminder — while I don’t post regularly here on this blog anymore, I am sending out TinyLetters. My most recent letter was a look back at the last five years of The Snow Child. You can sign up to receive the letters here https://tinyletter.com/EowynIvey
Dear northern reader,
Any plans to be in Palmer, Alaska, this weekend? Or Anchorage next month? Talkeetna?
Now that my US and UK book tours are wrapped up, I have a chance to do some book events around my home state. Here’s my schedule. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll stop in.
Fireside Books signing
Anchorage Barnes & Noble
Talkeetna Public Library
As you’ve probably noticed, I’m not using this blog as much lately. But I recently sent out a TinyLetter in celebration of Alaska Day, Oct. 18. If you haven’t already signed up, you can go here https://tinyletter.com/EowynIvey to receive this and future letters from me.
Also, I’m headed to NYC and Hoboken, NJ, this weekend on another leg of my Bright Edge Tour for my new book. You can visit my website events calendar here https://eowynivey.com/events/to learn more.
A few other news items:
- A blushingly kind column from Charles Wohlforth in the Alaska Dispatch News http://www.adn.com/opinions/2016/10/15/seeking-the-mystery-behind-alaskas-greatest-living-novelist/
- A review of Bright Edge from Great New Books http://www.greatnewbooks.org/2016/10/19/to-bright-edge-world-eowyn-ivey/
- Congratulations to fellow Alaskan writers for their recent Alaska Literary Awards: Daryl Farmer, creative nonfiction, Fairbanks;
Sara Loewen, creative nonfiction, Kodiak; Lucas Rowley, playwriting, Anchorage; Nicole Stellon O’Donnell, poetry, Fairbanks.
And here’s a parting look at my Bright Edge bulletin board over my desk. It’s almost time to clear the slate.
Dear globetrotting reader,
I’ve had a few readers ask about my book tour plans, so I wanted to share what I know so far. Hope to see some of you along the trail!
- August 2: Book release party for To the Bright Edge of the World, organized by Fireside Books. Palmer Train Depot, Alaska. 6:30 p.m.
- August 3: Village Books Reading and Signing, 7pm PT Village Books (Fairhaven Location, Readings Gallery)1200 11th Street, Bellingham, WA 98225
- August 5: Powell’s Books, 7:30pm PT Powell’s at Burnside, 1005 W Burnside St., Portland, OR 97209
- August 7: Tattered Cover Bookstore, 2pm MT Tattered Cover Bookstore, 2526 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206
- August 8: Vroman’s, 7pm PT, Vroman’s, 695 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91101
- August 10: In Conversation with Stuart Nadler and Signing at The Malted Barley, in Collaboration with Savoy Bookshop and Café, 6pm ET, The Malted Barley, 42 High St, Westerly, RI 02891
- August 11: Where the Sidewalk Ends Literary Luncheon Series with Stuart Nadler and Anne Korkeakivi, 12:30 pm ET, Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, 2173 Route 28 on Pleasant Bay on the border of Chatham and Harwich, Harwich, MA 02645, (508)432-5400
- August 13: East Hampton Library Author’s Night, 5pm ET – 7:30 pm ET, East Hampton Library, 159 Main Street, East Hampton, NY 11937
- August 14: Harbor Books Reading and Signing, 11am ET, Harbor Books, 20 Main St, Sag Harbor, NY 11963
- August 15: Books Under the Bridge, Hosted by Book Court, 7pm ET, Brooklyn Bridge Park, The Granite Prospect Steps, 334 Furman St., Brooklyn, NY 11201
- August 21-28: the United Kingdom, details to come soon.
There will be several events in October as well. I’ll keep you posted.
An author’s dream: You have a new novel coming out and when you drive by your favorite bookstore in the world, they’ve devoted their entire front window to your book. And they’ve also planned a huge book release party.
Sometimes dreams do come true. This morning as I drove through downtown Palmer, Alaska, I saw that the front windows of Fireside Books had been painted with the cover of my new book, To the Bright Edge of the World. (The owner’s niece, Tiffany Cheezem, did the beautiful painting.) The sight of it set off a wave of emotion in me – thrilling excitement, love and gratitude, and also a sense of nostalgia. Fifteen years ago, I used to walk by that window with anticipation and read the sign, “Bookstore Coming Soon.” A few years later, I was hired as a bookseller at Fireside, and the owners, David Cheezem and Melissa Behnke, quickly became dear friends.
David, Melissa and all the staff at Fireside Book were instrumental in welcoming my debut novel, The Snow Child, into the world, and I’m so grateful to once again have their support.
The Bright Edge book release party is at 6:30 p.m. August 2 at the train depot in downtown Palmer, Alaska, just across the street from Fireside Books. Everyone is welcome! Copies can be reserved by contacting Fireside Books at (907) 745 2665 or www.goodbooksbadcoffee.com.
Dear steadfast reader,
It’s official — my new novel To The Bright Edge of the World will be out August 2016! (I knew it was official when I saw it listed on the website of my favorite bookstore, Fireside Books in Palmer, AK. It can also be found on other book websites.)
To the Bright Edge of the World is being published by the same wonderful people who published The Snow Child — Little, Brown and Company in the US and Tinder Press in the UK.
For those of you who have been following its path, this is the novel formerly known as Shadows on the Wolverine. Through journals, letters and documents, it tells the story of an 1885 expedition into the heart of Alaska.
Here’s the publisher’s description:
“In the winter of 1885, Lieutenant Colonel Allen Forrester sets out with his men on an expedition into the newly acquired territory of Alaska. Their objective: to travel up the ferocious Wolverine River, mapping the interior and gathering information on the region’s potentially dangerous native tribes. With a young and newly pregnant wife at home, Forrester is anxious to complete the journey with all possible speed and return to her. But once the crew passes beyond the edge of the known world, there’s no telling what awaits them.
With gorgeous descriptions of the Alaskan wilds and a vivid cast of characters — including Forrester, his wife Sophie, a mysterious Eyak guide, and a Native American woman who joins the expedition — TO THE BRIGHT EDGE OF THE WORLD is an epic tale of one of America’s last frontiers, combining myth, history, romance, and adventure.”
I hope you enjoy it!
Dear long lost reader,
I just looked out the window of my office (yes, I have upgraded from my bare-lightbulb, closet-sized “cloffice” to a room with a view), and saw our little skating rink. It made me think of you, dear reader. I don’t know if you recall years ago I wrote to you about trying to build a skating rink in our yard. We did not have a well at the time, and so we were hauling our water — one of several impediments. Well this year, at last, success! It’s not official NHL dimensions, but it’s big enough to do a few twirls and play miniature hockey with our youngest daughter. Here’s a photo …
I’m also sending you a photo of my new office. Thanks to my husband, Sam, for all his hard work. He literally built it, walls, wiring, sheet-rock, pine trim, and even helped me reconnect my computer when I moved in. On the corkboard above my computer you can catch a glimpse of where my head has been these past months — a fantastical, wild 1885 Alaska.
I wanted you to know that although I have been mostly absent from Twitter and Facebook, and remiss in my letter writing, you have never been far from my thoughts as I work on my new novel. I have a complete manuscript and am now shaping it and polishing it. It is a story told in journals, letters and documents about a military expedition into the heart of Alaska in 1885. Along the way, my Colonel and his men are encountering a mythological world they did not expect. I can’t wait to share it with you!
Rochester, New York — Home to the incomparable Writers & Books program. What a whirlwind adventure I’ve had! Over three days, I spoke at universities, a school of the arts, a retirement community and numerous libraries — everywhere I turned, so many insightful, literary readers! And the staff of Writers & Books? Incredibly welcoming, fun, creative, and passionate about books. They set the bar high for what a community can do to support the arts and literacy. You can visit their website here to be inspired and learn more about their programs.
My only regret? I should have brought my mittens — it’s kind of chilly in Rochester this time of year.
Dear kind reader,
I’m afraid it’s been too long since I last wrote. Thanks to all of you who continue to follow my blog and check in regularly. I have stepped back from some of my online presence because I am deep into writing my next novel, Shadows on the Wolverine.
Some of you have asked about my new story: it is set on the same Wolverine River I invented for The Snow Child, but it takes place 35 years earlier, in 1885. It is inspired in part by a true-life military expedition that many have called the Lewis and Clark of Alaska. Along the way, however, my fictional characters encounter fantastical, mythological surprises. Part of the fun for me as a writer is that I’ve chosen to tell the story through diaries, reports, letters and other documents.
For those of you who have kindly asked when Shadows on the Wolverine will be available, I’m hoping to get it to my agent and editor this summer, and we will proceed from there. As soon as I have any firm dates, I will let you all know.
Even as I work on this new novel, however, The Snow Child is never far away. In fact, it is taking me from Alaska to Rochester, NY, later this month! The wonderful people at Writers & Books have chosen The Snow Child for this year’s “If All of Rochester Read the Same Book.”
March 19-21 I will be doing a series of events, including book signings and talks, around the Rochester area. You can view my schedule here at the Writers & Books website. Their website also includes an interview with me and other information. I hope to see some of you there.
In the meantime, I will continue my adventure along the Wolverine River.
P.S. I’ll be doing an online chat tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET on the HerRochester Facebook page. Feel free to join the discussion!
Dear fair-weather reader,
Over the weekend, we headed south to the Alaska seaside in a blustery rainstorm, and at the end of the road found sunshine and the warmest of welcomes from fellow Alaskans.
Immense gratitude to Argent Kvasnikoff, the Ninilchik Traditional Council, and Ninilchik Community library — they set the plans in motion by inviting me to come speak in their community. My family and I were so touched by their hospitality and kindness. We felt instantly as if we were among friends.
We also made our way to Homer, with much thanks to poet Erin Hollowell, the Homer Public Library and Homer Bookstore. Again we were welcomed with such warmth and graciousness. It was an honor to get to visit with so many fellow Alaskan writers at the event:
- Erin Hollowell has recently published a beautiful book of poetry, Pause, Traveler.
- Ann Dixon, who has a wonderful collection of Alaska children’s books. Our family favorite is Blueberry Shoe.
- Eva Saulitis, author most recently of the critically acclaimed Into Great Silence: A Memoir of Discovery and Loss Among Vanishing Orcas.
- Nancy Lord, former Alaska State Writer Laureate, a writer who does it all — fiction & essays, including Rock, Water, Wild: An Alaskan Life.
- Tom Kizzia, author of the bestselling Pilgrim’s Wilderness. I recently read this nonfiction book and found it incredibly compelling, heartbreaking, and haunting.
I have no doubt there were other writers there that day, published or soon-to-be, and I’m grateful for the supportive atmosphere that is helping Alaska literature to thrive.
Cheers from the coast,