Oregon Authors at Lane County Fair to Debut and Discuss New Books


William L. Sullivan

The pandemic that canceled author tours had a silver lining: Oregon authors had time to write interesting new books. Now that the restrictions have been lifted, 34 authors will be at the Lane County Fair Wednesday through Sunday, discussing and signing their latest works.

This year, “Zetty,” a novel by mental health therapist Eugene Debra Whiting Alexander, won the Eric Hoffer National Award for Legacy Fiction. Her recently released sequel, “A River for Gemma,” is already garnering top reviews, and for the same reason: Alexander understands that women classified as “intellectually disabled” can possess surprising strength, genius, and emotion. Set in the Willamette Valley, the new book follows Gemma, whose wish to have a child collides with her family’s hidden past.

Set partly in Eugene during the counterculture of the 1960s, Micah Thorp’s debut novel, “Uncle Joe’s Muse,” follows the long, bizarre journey of a fictional rock band. The story begins when a 12-year-old girl shows up at the house where the aging and dissolute members of the group have crashed, announcing that she has been sent to live with her father – although she does not reveal which member of of the group this is, and none of them remember their mother. Eventually, Jerry Garcia’s guitar, Woodstock and Ken Kesey’s bus all come into play.

Lauren Kessler, well known for 15 books of biography and narrative non-fiction, has turned her attention to the 2.3 million American citizens who are incarcerated. In “A Grip of Time: When Prison Is Your Life”, she interviewed the “lifers” who will never be released. Her new book, “Free: Two Years, Six Lives, and the Long Journey Home” tells the stories of those who have returned to society. She marvels at the success rate, even though prison has poorly prepared these people for the outside world, and the outside world is not entirely welcoming.

"Free" by Lauren Kesler

A great magician who tends to wear black hats and long black coats, Taylor Ellwood moved to Eugene to perform a different kind of magic: writing zombie novels. The three he posted last year deal with Sam, who thinks his new job as a customer support rep for the Zombie Apocalypse call center is a joke, until telepathic alien super zombies are starting to appear. Ellwood previously published the “Learning How to Be a Hero” graphic novel series. This trilogy charts the progress of Nelson, a timid superhero who must learn to fly, evade villains, and ultimately save the world.

"The zombie apocalypse" by Taylor Ellwood

This year, the Oregon Authors’ Table at the Lane County Fair will be held in the performance hall next to the doors to the glass-roofed atrium. Since the table can only accommodate about eight authors at a time, check the calendar if you want to meet a specific author.

  • Debra Alexander (novels): 1-5 p.m. Saturday
  • Curt Angeles (photography): 5-7 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday
  • Dan Armstrong (historical novels): 11am-7pm Thursday, 11am-7pm Saturday
  • A. Lynn Ash (travel memoirs): 11am-5pm Wednesday-Thursday; 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. from Friday to Saturday
  • Ken Babbs (memoir of Merry Prankster): 1-3 p.m. Saturday
  • Joe Blakely (history, novels): 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday to Friday
  • James Burke: 11am-3pm Sunday
  • Carola Dunn (mystery): 1-5 p.m. Thursday
  • Pat Edwards (Lane County History): 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday
  • Taylor Ellwood (graphic novels): 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
  • Michael Foster (novels): 11am-3pm Friday
  • Robert Heilman (tests): 11am-7pm Wednesday
  • Ken Helphand (Oregon History): 5-7 p.m. Thursday and Saturday
  • Evelyn Hess (memoirs): 11am-3pm Sunday
  • Ann Herrick (young adult): 1-5 p.m. Thursday
  • Lauren Kessler (biographies): 11am-3pm Saturday
  • Jason Kilgore (science fiction/fantasy): 3pm-7pm Wednesday, 5pm-7pm Thursday-Friday, 3pm-7pm Saturday
  • Dan Liberthson (spy novel): 11am-3pm Friday
  • Donna McFarland (self-publishing): 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday
  • Marli Miller (Oregon Geology): 3-5 p.m. Sunday
  • Ron Miner (WWII novels/memoirs): 11am-3pm Friday
  • Sharleen Nelson (time travel novels): 3-7 p.m. Friday-Saturday
  • Michael Pace (WWII novel): 1-5 p.m. Wednesday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday
  • Amy Palatnik (Memories of Love): 3-5 p.m. Friday, 1-3 p.m. Saturday
  • Mike Pungercar (WWII history): 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday
  • Jerry Rust (mystery): 11am-1pm Sunday
  • Brenda Sanders (children’s books): 1-5 p.m. Wednesday, 3-7 p.m. Friday
  • Mary Sharon Moore (memoir writing): 1-3 p.m. Wednesday
  • Dorothy Soper (children’s books): 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
  • William Sullivan (hiking, novels): 11am-7pm Wednesday-Saturday and 11am-5pm Sunday
  • Micah Thorp (novel set in Eugene): 1-5 p.m. Sunday
  • “Dr. T” Tshionyi (African folk tales): 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday
  • David Turner (Lane County History): 1-5 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday
  • Judith Van (adventure novel): 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday
  • David Wagner (nature/gardening): 3pm-5pm Wednesday, 1pm-3pm Friday
  • Tom Warner (US Geography): 3-5 p.m. Sunday
  • Ken Woody (sports): 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
  • Edwin Wollert (novels): 3pm-7pm Friday, 11am-1pm Saturday

Lane County Fair

When: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday

Where: Lane Events Center, main entrance at 13th Avenue and Jefferson Street.

Getting There : Parking is $5 per car, cash only. Also consider using Eugene’s bike-sharing system, PeaceHealth Rides, www.PeaceHealthRides.com; Buses from the Lane transit district (Downtown LTD Eugene station served the fairgrounds directly via routes 33, 36, 41, and 43); or taxi and carpooling (place of drop-off at the Orange D door access to the main entrance).

Tickets: $9, $7 for ages 65 and over, first responders and military, $6 for ages 6 to 12, and free for ages 5 and under. There are also group deals and packages for tickets at www.atthefair.com/tickets-and-deals.

More information: www.atthefair.com


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