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In Conversation: Julia Stoops, Sheila Hamilton, and Scott Sparling
Annie Bloom's welcomes Julia Stoops, Sheila Hamilton, and Scott Sparling, all of whom workshopped their writing in Portland critique group, The Pinewood Table. They will discuss their works and the writing process.
Parts per Million, Julia Stoops's socially conscious, fast-paced debut novel, is set in Portland, Oregon, in 2002. When John Nelson abandoned his government job to join a scrappy band of activists, he didn't realize trying to save the world would be so hard. His fellow activists--computer hacker Jen Owens and Vietnam vet Irving Fetzer--still think he's a square. As the trio dives into anti-war protests and investigates fraud at an elite university, Nelson falls in love with an unlikely houseguest, Deirdre, a photographer from Ireland--and a recovering addict. Fetzer recognizes her condition but keeps it secret, setting off a page-turning chain of events that threatens to destroy the activists' friendship even as they're trying to hold the world together, one radio show at a time.
Even as a reporter, Sheila Hamilton missed the signs as her husband David's mental illness unfolded before her. By the time she had pieced together the puzzle, it was too late. Her once brilliant and passionate partner was dead within six weeks of a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, leaving his young daughter and wife without so much as a note to explain his actions. All the Things We Never Knew takes readers on a breathtaking journey from David and Sheila's romance through the last three months of their life together and into the year after his death. It details their unsettling spiral from ordinary life into the world of mental illness, examines the fragile line between reality and madness, and reveals the true power of love and forgiveness.
Scott Sparling's Wire to Wire assembles a cast of train-hopping, drug-dealing, glue-huffing lowlifes, in a stunning homage to one of our most popular enduring genres--the American crime novel. While riding a freight car through Detroit, Michael Slater suffers a near-fatal accident--a power line to the head. After a questionable recovery and a broken relationship, he abandons his new home in the Arizona desert, though not before leaving a man for dead. Slater returns to Michigan in a busted-up Ford to reunite with an old train-hopping pal, but quickly discovers that the Pleasant Peninsula of his youth is none too pleasant. Three years later, Slater sits in a dark video-editing suite, popping speed like penny candy, attempting to reconcile himself with the unfilmed memories that haunt his screens and his conscience.