Meeting up with the Western Writers of America panel was a morning highlight.
Western Writers of America was founded in 1953. It promotes literature, both fiction and non-fiction, pertaining to the American West. Although its founders wrote traditional western fiction, the more than six hundred current members also include historians and other non-fiction writers as well as authors from other genres.
Spur Awards are literary prizes awarded annually by the Western Writers of America. The purpose of the Spur Awards is to honor writers for distinguished writing about the American West.My connection to the WWA group is Candace Simar and Nancy Plain Goldfeder and their literary publicist, Krista Rolfzen Soukup.
I have reviewed their books on previous blog postings.
and in 2016 a Spur Award winner Best Juvenile Non-Fiction for "This Strange Wilderness"
Lucky Bella who got to meet Candace on our 2015 Tucson tripCandace Simar was a Spur Award winner in 2012 Best Western Juvenile Fiction for "Birdie"
and on this blog posting link below you can see a photo of Candace's Spur Award.
I must say the auditorium was packed with a highly enthusiastic group excited to see and hear their favorite western writers.
Craig Johnson of Longmire fame (author of Longmire novels and TV series) was working the crowd before the panelists came on board. Seated left to right
Craig Johnson, Anne Hillerman, Johnny D. Boggs, Nancy Plain Goldfeder, Chris Enss, Kirk Ellis
These esteemed panelists presented an insightful, thoughtful and inspiring discussion which captivated the audience. It was evident the panelists admired and enjoyed each other's company. A very witty group I might add.
Back to the culinary stage for Naomi Pomeroy, author of "Taste and Technique to Elevate Your Home Cooking. "
It was amazing during the height of the heat she was able to entertain the crowd and still whip cauliflower soup with creme frache topped puff pastry.
This hefty cookbook (wanted to buy it but too heavy to carry in the heat) features over 140 lesson driven recipes designed to improve home cooking using professional techniques. What was further amazing is the fact Pomeroy learned her trade not in fancy culinary schools but by reading cookbooks and owns her own restaurant. Much to be admired.
The last presentation of the day titled Transformative Characters was given by panel of 3 women. I really wanted to hear Nancy Turner whose series of books include
followed by "Sarah's Quilt" and "Star Garden." Each of these books follow the life of Sarah Prine. Based on the real-life exploits of the author's great-grandmother, this fictionalized diary vividly details one woman's struggles with life and love in frontier Arizona at the end of the last century. When she begins recording her life, Sarah Prine is an intelligent, headstrong 18-year-old capable of holding her own on her family's settlement near Tucson. I highly suggest reading Turner's books a mesmerizing story about a strong woman character and what she needs to do to survive on the western frontier.
Each of the other two authors on the panel talked about their transformative characters.
Juliette Fay's story sounded quite interesting set against the turbulent backdrop of American Vaudeville, where four sisters embark on an unexpected adventure—and a last-ditch effort to save their family they put together a tumbling act.
Elizabeth Church's debut novel takes the reader from the World War II years in Chicago to the vast sun-parched canyons of New Mexico in the 1970s (Los Alamos ) as we follow the journey of a driven, spirited young woman, Meridian Wallace, whose scientific ambitions are subverted by the expectations of her era.