Posted on November 21, 2014

Why I Write for Young People

My newest Gold Rush book was released last week. While I’ve had fun writing about it and interacting with readers as they discover it, I’ve had enough of promotion for a while. (And many of you may be tired of hearing it!) So it’s time to switch gears and remember why I started down this road in the first place.

I wrote an essay about why I write for young people, and made a video of myself reading it. Here’s an excerpt:

I know that some of my readers are older people who like my books for other reasons, or enjoy reading about my young characters and thinking, “Ahh, I remember that.”  For my young readers I hope the thought is “Yes, I feel that too,” or “Oh good, I’m not the only one.” I want you to know that you’re not alone, that others have had the same feelings or situations. And they have persevered and gone on to great things, just like you will.

If you’d like to see the rest of it, please go to my You Tube channel or click here:

http://youtu.be/rJDWwrSnXuM

That’s what this is all about. Young readers reading this post, hang in there. You can do this.

If you’re just getting acquainted with me and want to see more: 

Feel free to follow me on Facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynn-Lovegreen/398231060237488

Or Pinterest:

http://www.pinterest.com/lynnlovegreen/

Or if you’d like to sign up for my e-newsletter “A Letter from Lynn,” please use this link:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynn-Lovegreen/398231060237488?sk=app_100265896690345

 

Thanks for sharing this journey with me. 

Posted on November 12, 2014

New Release: Golden Days!

Happy book birthday to Golden Days, the fourth book in my Alaska Gold Rush series!

 

Here are the first lines:

Elizabeth didn’t see it until it was too late.

One moment she was planning a painting of the snowy scene, then the dogsled she was riding in careened around the corner. The play of shadows and light, the glittering frost on the trees, vanished when a team of dogs slammed into theirs.

 

 

And here’s the blurb:

Alaska is a cold place to live until love blossoms.

Elizabeth Robinson travels by dog sled to help her family mind the store in Fairbanks, Alaska. She wants to pursue her drawing and painting, but women artists are rare in 1906, and flood, fire, and a death in the family force her to take charge at home at age seventeen. James Garrett comes north to help his uncle at a nearby gold claim. An awkward eighteen-year-old who is more at home with machines than people, he becomes a man as he falls in love with Elizabeth. When a discovery about her benefactor, the founder of the town, threatens their future, Elizabeth and James find that together they can overcome any obstacle.

 

For those of you who have read my other books, you’ll see Jeannie and Clint from Quicksilver to Gold here in supporting roles. Plus, Jim and Ralph are in this book too! But if you haven’t read any others, this works as a stand-alone story too.

 

Golden Days is available in print and ebook versions. See more info on the Prism page:

http://www.prismbookgroup.com/goldendays.html

 

 

I have several events coming up for the new release:

Nov. 12: Spotlight on Suzanne Lilly’s blog at http://teacherwriter.net

and Brooke Williams’ blog at http://www.authorbrookewilliams.com

 

Nov. 21: Teachers as Writer talk at UAA Bookstore with fellow educators and authors Tam Agosti-Gisler, J. N. Taylor, and Deb Vanasse, 4-6 pm

 

Nov. 28-30: ReadAlaska Book Fair at Anchorage Museum, Friday & Saturday 10-6, Sunday 12-6

 

Thanks for joining me on my writing journey. Feel free to follow me on Facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynn-Lovegreen/398231060237488

 

Or Pinterest:

http://www.pinterest.com/lynnlovegreen/

 

Or if you’d like to sign up for my e-newsletter “A Letter from Lynn,” please use this link:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynn-Lovegreen/398231060237488?sk=app_100265896690345

 

Posted on November 11, 2014

Golden Days

Golden Days is the fourth book in my Gold Rush series.

Golden Days is set in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1906. Prism Book Group publishes this fourth book in the Gold Rush series.

http://www.prismbookgroup.com/goldendays.html

Posted on November 7, 2014

Cover Reveal for Golden Days

Every time I get a new cover, it’s a whoop-it-up moment! Thanks for sharing it with me as I reveal the one for Golden Days!

 

Golden Days cover

Golden Days cover

The cover for Golden Days was designed by Prism Book Group’s editor-in-chief Joan Alley. She knows just how to wrangle the background, heroine, title, and author name into a cohesive, attractive cover. Thanks, Joan!

Here’s the blurb:

Alaska is a cold place to live until love blossoms. Elizabeth Robinson travels by dog sled to help her family mind the store in Fairbanks, Alaska. She wants to pursue her drawing and painting, but women artists are rare in 1906, and flood, fire, and a death in the family force her to take charge at home at age seventeen. James Garrett comes north to help his uncle at a nearby gold claim. An awkward eighteen-year-old who is more at home with machines than people, he becomes a man as he falls in love with Elizabeth. When a discovery about her benefactor, the founder of the town, threatens their future, Elizabeth and James find that together they can overcome any obstacle.

Golden Days is the fourth in my YA/NA historical romance series set in the Alaska Gold Rush. You might recognize Jeannie from Quicksilver to Gold—she and her husband Clint take supporting roles in this book. And of course, Ralph and Jim appear in this one too. Plus, you’ll meet other characters that I hope you’ll love as much as I did when I wrote them.

You can find Golden Days on the Prism Book Group website here:

http://www.prismbookgroup.com/goldendays.html

Or you can preorder it at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P1A43PM

 

Once the book is released on November 12th, you can buy it in print or ebook. More details to come—hope to see you then!

 

I have several events coming up for the new release:

Nov. 10: Interview with author Kathy Rouser on http://www.kathleenrouser.com

 

Nov. 12: Release day post here, plus spotlight on Suzanne Lilly’s blog at http://teacherwriter.net

and Brooke Williams’ blog at http://www.authorbrookewilliams.com

 

Nov. 21: Teachers as Writers talk at UAA Bookstore with fellow educators/authors Tam Agosti-Gisler, J. N. Taylor, and Deb Vanasse, 4-6 pm.

Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you on release day Nov. 12th! :-)

Posted on October 31, 2014

The Ghost of What Might Have Been

The Ghost of What Might Have Been

 

In celebration of Halloween, and Golden Days

 

Some of us have seen a ghost or other gruesome event. But for most of us, the scariest thing is the Ghost of What Might Have Been.

 

Isn’t that what many of us fear, that we will miss out on an opportunity for a rich life, a rewarding career, the love of a lifetime, if we don’t take the fork in the road? That’s what leads to sayings like Carpe Diem (Seize the day).

 

I have tried to live my life by that saying. It’s led to two fulfilling careers, a small bank account, and lots of good memories with people I love. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I am glad I jumped at every opportunity to lead the life I was meant to have.

 

The main characters in my next young adult/new adult historical romance Golden Days have similar desires to lead rich lives. Elizabeth wants to be a professional artist, which is rare for women in 1906. James aspires to be an engineer, which is more common but not easy when you’re a young man coming from nowhere. They support each other in their dreams during hard times, and fall in love—which leads to even more complications for them. But they make the most of every opportunity. They seize the day. I admire that.

 

I’m looking forward to introducing you to them directly when the novel is released on November 12th. And I’ll reveal the cover to you here in my next post, on November 7th. Stay tuned! :-)

 

And I hope you seize your day and keep the Ghost of What Might Have Been away from your door. Happy Halloween! :-)

Posted on October 24, 2014

The Golden City of Fairbanks, and Golden Days

Fairbanks, Alaska was founded in 1901 when E. T Barnette was dropped off on the bank of the Chena River and established his trading post there. Felix Pedro (Felice Pedroni) struck gold nearby, and soon Fairbanks became a boomtown.

 

Like most Gold Rush towns, Fairbanks had its mix of cultures. Aboriginal and Russian descendants interacted with recent arrivals. Citified businessmen worked with scruffy miners. And the location held challenges. Winter temperatures plummeted far below zero. Spring break-up ice tore out the bridge several years in a row.

 

As happened in many towns with wooden structures, fire destroyed much of the town in 1906. Congressional delegate and judge James Wickersham coordinated federal support for rebuilding Fairbanks. The population rallied and the town grew.

 

Founder and mayor E. T. Barnette created some complications too, when he bought neighboring mining claims through surrogates and some of his men jumped claims that others had worked on legitimately. When word got out that he had a criminal background, things really heated up.

 

Many of these historical facts are woven into the story of my next novel, Golden Days. Stay tuned to hear more about that as we get closer to the release date, November 12th!

 

There are several great sources of information on Fairbanks history. I recommend Terrence Cole’s Crooked Past: The History of a Frontier Mining Camp: Fairbanks. Alaska (published by University of Alaska Press, 1984) if you’d like to read more about this fascinating town.

 

Photo of Wickersham House via Wikicommons (Wickersham House NRHP ref #79003757, Fairbanks, AK author Durkeeco)

Posted on October 17, 2014

Traveling Memories, and Romance

I’ve been traveling with my husband for the last four weeks. If you follow me on social media, you probably know about the Alcan part of the trip. We also drove through parts of Canada and the United States to put the bus to bed for the winter, visited with friends and relatives en route, and attended a reunion in California. Good thing we’re great companions for each other—that’s a long time living in close quarters! But the point is, we did fine and had some lovely moments. Here are a few:

 

Walking around the remains of the old bridge at the Sikanni Chief River in British Columbia. (The photo is at the interpretive sign for the bridge.)

 

Sipping beer in a pub in Alberta, discussing why my mother had a crush on Joe Montana.

 

Staying up late talking with our friends in Minnesota, each person adding an element to the conversation.

 

Showing the bus to his cousin’s 6-year-old son. My husband was almost as enthused as he was.

 

Talking with people at my husband’s high school reunion, watching people listen to and enjoy his stories.

 

When people ask me why I write romance, I give one of several answers, depending on the person and the occasion. But one of the main reasons is my marriage. I am so lucky to be married to the same person for thirty years and still have a romantic partnership with him. I want to share this good feeling with others. Thanks, Darlin’. It was a wonderful trip, and I am glad to be home with you.

Posted on October 10, 2014

Alaska Book Week 2014

Alaska Book Week October 4-11, 2014

 

Perhaps you’ve heard of Alaska Book Week. It’s a celebration of Alaskan books and authors held every October. Booksellers, libraries and others host book signings and author events, readings and book displays. This year I’m feeling a little out of the loop, since I’m not home to participate. But I can contribute by telling you about some of the best Alaskan authors. Some had books released in 2014, and some I just got around to reading or I met the author this year. But they are all outstanding in their genres.

 

For literary fiction, you can’t beat Eowyn Ivey’s The Snow Child. This book’s images and characters stayed with me long after I read the last pages. For crime fiction, John Straley’s prose is so well crafted that you’ll forget it’s not poetry. I am looking forward to reading his latest, Cold Storage.  Heather Lende’s nonfiction sounds like you’re sharing a cup of coffee with her. Her most recent book is Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs. For picture books, Cindy Pendleton’s illustrations are beautiful and lighthearted at the same time. The Pirates of Kachemak Bay, written by Amy Murrell-Hausold and illustrated by Cindy, is a lovely romp through childhood in Alaska.

 

Alaskan Cinthia Ritchie is underrated, in my opinion. Her novel Dolls Behaving Badly is still one of the funniest, most soulful books I have ever read. And the setting and characters are purely Alaskan. Even if you don’t normally read women’s fiction, give it a try. Carla and her family will steal your heart.

 

I should also mention the great writers’ groups in Alaska. I belong to 49 Writers, AKRWA (the Alaska chapter of Romance Writers of America) and SCBWI-Alaska (the Alaska chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). I gained so much from each of these groups from formal workshops, to critique groups, to friendships that have sustained me in my writing and personal life. Their support helped me develop my craft and continues to guide writers all over Alaska.

 

Happy Alaska Book Week! Next time you are looking for a new book, try one of these books or check out the ABW website at http://www.alaskabookweek.com.

Posted on October 3, 2014

On the Alcan Highway Post #3

We’re near the southern end of the Alcan. (See the last two posts to learn more about the rest of our trip.) On the next part of our drive, we took a brief stop at the Sikanni (also called the Sikanni Chief) River, where the U. S. Army’s African-American 95th Engineering Regiment built a bridge in three and a half days. (No, that’s not a typo, but a huge accomplishment.) The original bridge is gone, but the remnants of the steel replacement show the location pretty well.

Sikanni Bridge 1 Sikanni Bridge 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After that, we stayed in Fort St. John, where the PRA (Public Roads Administration, the civilian side of the project) had a headquarters and the 95th were stationed nearby in the summer of ‘42. (Did you guess one of the main characters in my work in progress is in the 95th and the other in the PRA?)  Manager/curator Heather Longworth at the Fort St. John North Peace Museum was very helpful, and guided me to some great sources of information. Raven 1 decided not to start after that visit, but a nice mechanic helped us get on our way.

 

FSJ N Peace Museum FSJ North Peace Museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ak Highway House Dawson Creek MilepostThe next stop was Dawson Creek, Mile 0, the southern end of the Alcan. They really celebrate the history of the Alcan here. The Northern Alberta Railways Park includes the Mile 0 Cairn, the Alaska Highway House, and the Dawson Creek Art Gallery. I had a ball here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We made a detour to the Kiskatinaw Bridge, a curved wooden bridge built by the PRA as part of the Alcan. Now the new highway bypasses it, but it can still be driven and is an engineering marvel to behold.

Kiskatinaw Bridge Kiskatinaw Bridge 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now we are done with the Alcan portion of our trip. It sure has been beautiful, and good for my manuscript. I’ve been very impressed with the the friendly Alaskans and Canadians. But Raven 1 (our bus) still has a ways to go before she sleeps for the winter. Onward!

 

Hope you enjoyed my little travelogue. For the next post, I’ll go back to more writerly topics and tell you about Alaska Book Week!

Posted on September 26, 2014

On the Alcan Highway, Post #2

Post #2 of our Alcan adventure! (See the last post to find out more about our trip.) After Whitehorse, we drove to Watson Lake to see the signpost forest and the visitor/interpretive center. The center had a great exhibit on the building of the Alcan Highway. Watson Lake is probably most famous for its signpost forest; in 1942, a homesick solider named Carl K. Lindley put up a sign to Danville, IL. People started adding to it, and now there are more than 71,000 of them. It’s a cool thing to see. My husband and I added one of our own too:

Watson Lake signposts1

 

 

 

Watson Lake signposts ours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we hit the twisty-turny part of the highway, where we wove through mountains and down onto flat ground. (Very dramatic, but unfortunately my iPhone was out of juice so no photos to share.) The next stop was Fort Nelson. I hoped to visit the Fort Nelson Heritage Museum, which I had heard was a good source for WWII/Alcan information. The museum itself was closed, but they have a monument to the Alcan construction project and tons of vehicles and other items around its grounds. I spent over an hour just walking around taking notes of things. They had a community fundraiser event at the airport that day, so we got a free helicopter ride over the area. And I got a good tip on a local expert I can contact later, so it worked out okay. Here are some photos from Fort Nelson:

 

Fort Nelson monument3 Ft. Nelson Dodge Ft. Nelson flyover 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We ended up with an extra day in Fort Nelson due to a minor glitch. (Nothing major, don’t worry Dad!) We discovered that A & W has free wifi, so caught up with our emails, etc. and had our first poutine there. (It was okay, but not an improvement over plain french fries in my opinion. Maybe it’s an acquired taste.) It’s been kind of fun to see the differences in the culture here. Canadians say “washroom” instead of “restroom” and “take away” instead of “to go” and they are very polite about letting pedestrians cross the street, to the point that every time I stopped on the curb drivers waved me over. Much nicer than some places in the States where you wonder if anybody would stop for you.

 

More later, hope you’re having a good fall too!