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Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book

Author Todd Fahnestock wrote “The Undying Man” for one really compelling reason: his fans

SunLit Interviews

Catherine R. Berra has been writing poems since she was a girl. Last year, she finally published some.

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Christmas Eve with grumpy grandchildren inspired Natli VanDerWerken to write her book

With family tempers rising, the author sat in her living room and restored calm with a magical tale that became "WindRunner," one in a series of novels

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In “That’s How It Is,” poet Jared Smith celebrates the struggle and dignity of the American worker

From traveling to all 50 states to a wide-ranging work history -- including as an advisor to President Clinton -- the author's life experience laid a broad foundation for his writing

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Laurie Marr Wasmund watched a single volume of her historical novel blossom into a trilogy

The author of "To Walk Humbly" mixed Colorado's real-life heroes and villains of the 1920s with fictional characters in this final installment of the White Winter Trilogy

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Author Lori Hodges built her first novel around family genealogy — plus her dog’s bouts with a porcupine

Research on her roots and idle hours between emergency ambulance calls gave her the inspiration and the opportunity to create "Sweet Twisted Pine"

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Author Stephanie Kane created a new kind of detective from a world she knew little about

For "A Perfect Eye," Kane explored the art world, learned its lingo, and created a character whose sharp eye for detail sometimes blinds her to the big picture

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For Colorado author Jody Pritzl, curiosity and years of persistence collided with Christmas nostalgia

"Immigrants, Ornaments and Legacies" became a 10-year labor of love that explores the origins of the Christmas ornaments that helped define her Wisconsin childhood

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C. Joseph Greaves’ Colorado friends asked, “When are you going to write about here?” This book is the answer.

After a 25-year career as a lawyer in Los Angeles, he and his wife moved to the southwestern part of the state, where he infused local issues into "Church of the Graveyard Saints"

Book Excerpts

Barbara Nickless juggled plot and backstory to create a tale inspired by an Army intelligence officer

She also found one of her writing habits disappeared after she was displaced by the 2012 Waldo Canyon wildfire

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Ian Neligh rode his childhood fascination with heroes and artifacts of the Old West to a year-long project

The award-winning journalist sought to hold up the figures from his youth against modern versions of bounty-hunters, brand inspectors and bare-knuckled brawlers

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Colorado author Melissa Payne drew on her work experience to create a lost teen named Star

In "The Secrets of Lost Stones," elements of her work with abused and neglected kids coalesce around the story of one girl's search for family

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For author Paula L. Silici, the trials of a family move made her wonder: What would Jessie Driscoll do?

Silici's thought exercise helped her channel the Old West heroine's feeling of helplessness while on the run from the law in "Wanted"

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Longtime Colorado author dug deep, and found treasures in iconic Cheley camps’ past

Mary Taylor Young sorted through lots of camp archives, and the memories of third- and fourth-generation Cheleys, to put together a history that touched thousands of campers

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Identifying with her protagonist, Donna Cooner explored a teen’s struggle with body image

The author also found that her own addiction to social media became a major impediment to getting her work done on "Fake"

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Colorado co-authors wrote parallel storylines in “Light in the Shadows” — reflecting their individual interests

Linda Lafferty's love of art history and Andy Stone's experience with present-day fiction had one final hurdle: How to knit the two plots together?

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A Colorado author asked: What if “Mission Impossible” took place during the Renaissance?

Carol Berg, writing as Cate Glass, is a multiple CBA winner for fantasy. But she does extensive research to ground her characters in the trappings of their historical period.

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Coloradan Connie Shoemaker had stories to tell after years of international travel and work with immigrants

In "Taste the Sweetness Later," the author employs "immersive journalism" to chronicle the lives of two Muslim women through 300 hours of interviews

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How a Charlie Sheen news story ushered a Colorado author into the world of cryptids and adventure

At first, Lija Fisher took great liberties with the creatures, but soon learned there's a whole field -- cryptozoology -- that takes them seriously, and can be a "gateway science" for kids

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A New Mexico sabbatical provided opportunity for research on Native gangs, and a start to a Colorado author’s novel

Erika T. Wurth knew her book was dark, and publishers initially shied away. But now she welcomes a "Native Renaissance."

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