On Scott Sparling, Flipback Books and Ken Metzler

Consider this a three-in-one blog post. It’s gotten so busy around here–with the growth of my Seven Questions series–that I need to squeeze a few topics together before the next installment, featuring novelist Julia Stoops. She will share her thoughts on point of view, research and asking nonwriters to critique one’s manuscript. So stay tuned.

In the meantime:

1) Scott Sparling, author of Wire to Wire, forthcoming in June from Tin House Books, read from his novel Saturday night at the Springwater Grange at the 9th annual writers’ night sponsored by the Estacada Area Arts Commission.

Along with Scott’s captivating selections from Wire to Wire, Stevan Allred (the organizer) and Joanna Rose each read beautiful essays that addressed the event’s theme, “On the Road.” Stevan and Joanna started teaching together in 1996 or thereabouts, and Scott was among the many writers who arrived at the Pinewood Table in the past 15 years to learn from them.

As an alumna of Stevan and Joanna’s group myself, I’ve attended several of these writerly grange evenings–and had the honor of reading from my very first novel in 2004 (or maybe 2005). As usual, this weekend’s event was a memorable one, not only because of the featured readings, but due to the community of writers and local residents who showed up to listen. Instead of ending the event with a question and answer period, members of the audience recounted stories about hopping boxcars, hitchhiking and how times have changed. It was an evening of great storytelling, that’s for sure.

I can’t wait to read Wire to Wire, which earned a coveted starred review in Publishers Weekly and was named as a Pick of the Week. The April 16 event was the first in a four-month series of appearances, so check Scott’s events listings so you don’t miss a chance to hear him. He’ll be touring in Oregon, Washington, New York and Michigan. (To bring things full-circle, his website was designed by Julia Stoops, the next Seven Questions subject.)

2) There has been a lot of buzz about flipback books since this article, “Could This New Book Kill the Kindle,” came out in the Guardian on March 20. I’ve noticed a lot of folks stopping by my blog seeking details. It’s such a fascinating–possibly revolutionary–concept that I decided to put my journalism background to work and start asking questions. And guess what? I’m getting answers.

I don’t want to give away too much, but within the next two weeks, if all goes according to schedule, you’ll find an exclusive Seven Questions interview here on my blog about flipback books. Hopefully the piece will answer some of the questions that everyone has been asking on my blog and in other corners of the Internet. (Update: The interview ran May 16, so check out the link and this piece on dwarsliggers.)

3) Finally, a sad note. Professor Emeritus Ken Metzler of the University of Oregon died on April 10. He was a great man and journalist, and I’m so glad one of my mentors, Sharon Brock of Ohio State University, introduced us.

The School of Journalism and Communication has put together a lovely memorial page here, so if you didn’t know Ken, pop over there and prepare to be inspired by what this sincere, smart, funny, accomplished man has meant to the people around him. If you’re a journalist, or interested in the profession, check out his fabulous interviewing tips here.

We’ll miss you, Ken.

About Laura Stanfill

Publisher, Forest Avenue Press
This entry was posted in Community, Flipback, Journalism, Seven Questions, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to On Scott Sparling, Flipback Books and Ken Metzler

  1. Scott Sparling says:

    Hi Laura,

    Thanks for the post and the link. It was great to see you there…and to follow in your footsteps as a Grange-reader! I’m sure our paths will be crossing again…


  2. Hi, Scott! Thanks so much for stopping by. I’d love to feature you and Wire to Wire sometime as part of my interview series. Pop me an email at laurastanfill at hotmail dot com if you’re interested. It was great to hear you read last week and I can’t wait to buy your novel!

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