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City Club of Eugene: So You Want To Be An Author?

Program Date: May 7, 2021

Air Date: May 10, 2021

From The City Club of Eugene:

Maybe you have always thought you had a book in you. Maybe it could be an inspiring memoir or even—dare you hope–the Great American Novel. Or maybe after finishing a really terrific essay or book, you have wondered how the writer got from having a good idea to getting it published where you could share it. It’s not as easy as it may seem. Where do you get the ideas? Which ideas are worth writing down? How do you find an agent? Who should edit your book? Should you go with a major national publisher or a small independent? What about marketing? Is a movie deal possible?

Eugene has many fine authors working in many different genres. Each has taken a different path to get published, and each has met and overcome many challenges along the way. In this program, they will tell us how they did it.       


J.C. Geiger survived an earthquake on the Mouth of Hell volcano in Nicaragua, learned to drive stick shift on a bookmobile, and once fell asleep while running. He also writes fiction. He is a GrandSLAM Storytelling Champion at The Moth, and his work has appeared on stage at The Second City and No Shame Theatre. His debut novel, Wildman, was named by Amazon and others as a Best YA Book of 2017. His forthcoming novel, The Great Big One, centers on a disaster preparedness community on the Oregon coast, and will be released by Little, Brown in July 2021.

Leigh Anne Jasheway is the author of 26 books, ranging from self-help to humor to stories meant to read to your dogs and cats. Her work is also published in over 2 dozen anthologies, as well in newspapers, magazines, and online platforms. She was the humor columnist for The Register Guard for 9 years and prior to that for the Funny Times for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor and content manager for The Syndrome Mag, editing their two anthologies, Random Female Syndromes and Show Us Your Wits: Funny Women Surviving the COVID Crisis by Laughing through It. She has taught writing classes for Lane Community College, The University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, and for a number of virtual teaching sites, including Writers’ Digest.

Ruby McConnell is a writer, geologist, adventurer, and environmental philosopher who lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. A lifelong explorer and educator, Ruby’s work in outdoor advocacy and examining the relationships between landscape and the human experience won an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship in 2016. She has been published in Grain Literary Magazine, Entropy, Oregon Humanities, Complex Online, Huffington Post, Mother Earth News, Grow Magazine, Seattle Backpackers, and Misadventures Magazine, among others. Her first book, A Woman’s Guide to the Wild, was published in 2015 and has now sold close to 20,000 copies. The middle grade companion volumes, A Girl’s Guide to the Wild and My Nature Journal and Activity Book were released in 2019 and 2020. She is a regular contributor of kid’s outdoor content on KATU’s Afternoon Live. A collection of her award-winning environmental essays entitled Ground Truth was released in April of 2020 by Overcup Books.

Andre Royal works as a chef and caterer and writes children’s books. He devotes time and energy to helping find treatments and a cure for narcolepsy. His children’s books—Suddenly Sleepy and a series of color along story books–transform his own heavy-hearted experiences into a variety of stories with ironic twists and turns of phrase. “Chef Andre” was diagnosed with narcolepsy at 33, prompting him to found Suddenly Sleepy (501c3). His writing highlights the importance of quality sleep, and his nonprofit supports research on narcolepsy through community events, fundraising, and awareness campaigns. The nonprofit established the Suddenly Sleepy Saturday and the Suddenly Sleepy Sleepwalk, a 5k race held in Eugene, and hosts Drink Draw & Color events.

Bob Welch is a speaker, author, award-winning columnist, and writing teacher who has served as an adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Oregon in Eugene. He is the author of more than 20 books. He wrote The Wizard of Foz: Dick Fosbury’s One-Man High-Jump Revolution, (Skyhorse Publishing, New York, Sept. 2018). As a columnist for The Register-Guard, Oregon’s second-largest newspaper, he twice won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ highest award for writing. In addition, he has won dozens of other journalism awards, including the 2010 and 2011 Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association’s “Best Writing” awards.  Other honors include the Seattle Times C.B. Blethen Memorial Award for Distinguished Feature Writing. His new book, coming out April 27, is Saving My Enemy: How Two WWII Soldiers Fought Against Each Other and Forged a Friendship That Saved Their Lives. (Regnery History)