Monday, November 28, 2016

Life + Inspiration = Fiction

When the Dora-Faye Hendricks of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society invited me to give a talk (as opposed to a reading) for the Words, Writers & West Seattle series, I’ll admit I was stumped. Despite a lifetime of teaching and dozens of bookstore and library readings, I am not a public speaker. I can read. I can’t speak. Or perhaps I should say, I can’t speak unless I’m teaching. It’s different. Besides, I had no idea what to talk about.

Then I met Clay Eals on Alki Beach to film this video invitation to the event. We stood next to the sign post that graces the cover of Running Secrets with Elliot Bay behind us and the gorgeous Seattle skyline in the distance. It was a clear day – rare in these weeks of winter gray – and once again I was overwhelmed by the beauty of this place I call home.  

Still, I am even less comfortable with video-taping than I am with public speaking, so Clay chatted and joked and helped me relax. He asked about my event and encouraged me to talk about myself, my connections to West Seattle, and my inspiration for The Alki Trilogy.

“They want to know about you,” Clay said. “They want to know the person behind the stories.”

I pondered this for a while before admitting that every time I read a book or attend a book event, I want to know about the author and his or her inspiration. Where did she get the idea? Why did he write this particular story? I decided there might be other readers like me who are interested in where ideas and characters come from and how life experiences play into fiction. Are you?

As I considered the circuitous journey my life has taken, my West Seattle connections and the inspiration for The Alki Trilogy, I better understood how deeply these facets of my life are connected and the planning of my talk became easier.

I’m gathering photographs and stories, facts and statistics that I hope will explain the life and inspiration behind The Alki Trilogy. I hope you can join me this Friday and tell me what you think!

Barnes and Noble - Westwood Village
2600 SW Barton St Suite E-1
Seattle, WA 98126
Friday, December 2, 2016
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Video Invitation


Unknown said...

Arleen, you did a great job with the video invitation,

The fact that your trilogy is so locally based is a boon for our "Words, Writers & West Seattle" series and for everyone on our peninsula. I am looking forward to your presentation this Friday.

Clay Eals

arleen said...

Thank you, Clay.