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Don’t be afraid of the dark

Published on September 27, 2017 3:05PM

Rene Denfeld is the first speaker in the month long series

Rene Denfeld is the first speaker in the month long series

Everything gets more cozy as the days get shorter and the winter rains arrive. A great place to hide inside every Thursday during the month of October is provided by the Driftwood Public Library for the Dark & Stormy Night series, now in its 14th year.

Fifteen years ago, Driftwood teamed with the late Marcy Taylor to bring Northwest mystery writers to the Oregon coast. That first year was so successful that the series has continued every October, with only one break while the library was closed for renovations in 2009. 

“This year for the first time we are breaking with the theme of just mystery writers,” said Ken Hobson, circulation supervisor. “This year we’ll have some of what we’re calling genre writers, which can include fantasy. Some of our authors are unclassifiable; Anthony St. Clair’s writing is sometimes called fantasy travel, which is a new one to me. Keith Rossen’s work I wouldn’t know how to classify at all, but I’m really excited to meet him. His latest book takes place in a town that appears to be Newport in 1983. It’s a great book; beautifully written and weird in the best sense.”

Rene Denfeld will open this year’s series on Oct. 5. Rene is the author of the acclaimed novels “The Child Finder” and “The Enchanted,” as well as essays in publications like the New York Times. Rene’s new literary thriller, “The Child Finder,” has received much acclaim, including a starred Library Journal review, major press coverage, and an Indie Next pick. It landed as the #1 fiction bestseller at Powell’s within a week of its publication and is already a national bestseller. Rene’s lyrical, beautiful writing is inspired by her work with sex trafficking victims and innocents in prison. Rene was the Chief Investigator at a public defender’s office and has worked hundreds of cases.

The series continues on Oct. 12 with a visit from Keith Rosson. Rosson is the author of the novels “The Mercy of the Tide” (set on the central Oregon coast during the winter of 1983) and “Smoke City” (to be published this winter), and his short fiction has appeared in Cream City Review, PANK, December, The Nervous Breakdown, and more. He’s been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize and as a finalist for the Birdwhistle Prize for Short Fiction. He’s also an illustrator and graphic designer, with clients that include Green Day, Against Me, the Goo Goo Dolls, and others. A fierce advocate of public libraries and non-ironic adulation of the cassette tape, his work transcends genre and is richly evocative of a specific time and place.

On Oct. 19, the library will welcome author couple Chris & Steve York. They’ve published novel-length and short fiction separately and together in many genres, including science fiction, fantasy, suspense, romance, and romantic suspense. In addition to their own work, they’ve produced licensed works for properties such as ALIAS, Star Trek, MechWarrior Dark Age, Conan, Marvel’s X-Men, and others. They live on the Oregon coast with their cats, Sydney and the Mighty Oz. (If you’ve ever seen Herbie the Love Bug driving around town, you’ve seen one or both of the Yorks!)

The series wraps up on Oct. 26 with a visit from Anthony St. Clair. Fantasy author and beer writer St. Clair has walked with hairy coos (the Scottish word for cow) in the Scottish Highlands, choked on seafood in Australia, and watched the full moon rise over Mt. Everest in Tibet. Anthony is best known for his Rucksack Universe books. This non-sequential series combines elements of urban fantasy, indie travel, magical realism, and alternate history. The stories are told in the spirit of Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams, and Tom Robbins. The four titles in the series now available are “The Martini of Destiny,” “Home Sweet Road,” “Forever the Road,” and “The Lotus and the Barley,” with at least two more books currently in development. Anthony has traveled the sights and beers of Thailand, Japan, India, Canada, Ireland, the USA, Cambodia, China and Nepal. He and his wife live in Eugene, Oregon, and gave their kids passports when they were babies.

The series is made possible by ongoing generous support from The Driftwood Library Foundation, U.S. Bank Foundation, D’Sands Condominium Motel, and The Anchor Inn.

All events in the Dark & Stormy Night series begin at 4 pm, and are free to the public. Driftwood Public Library is located at 801 SW Hwy 101 in Lincoln City on the 2nd floor of the City Hall building. For more information email khobson@lincolncity.org or call 541-996-1242.

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