Sunday, February 2, 2014

Top 10 Reasons: #2 and #3

Here's the deal--and I do mean deal.

Until tomorrow, February 3, Amazon is practically giving away my fourth mystery.

A mystery starred by Booklist. Rated 5-stars by nearly 40 reviewers. And you get to tour Alaska by cruise ship. 
For $2.99.

Try buying a real ticket for that price.

In honor of this amazing Amazon deal, I'm posting my Top 10 Reasons for writing this Raleigh Harmon mystery. 

We're now at duel reasons #2 and #3:

                                                       MY GRANDMOTHERS

When I was 16 years old, I rode up the ski lift with a complete stranger who gazed down at my skis, read my name, and said, "Sibella, I know your grandmothers. They're amazing."

Yeah, it was like that. All the time.

My grandmothers, Belle and Frances, also happened to be my best friends. A late child, I was the last of their ten grandkids. And the only girl.
Departing Juneau 10 pm, first week of May

Although my grandmothers appear in all of my books, one way or another, I fully reveal their importance to me in The Mountains Bow Down.

Without these two women, my family wouldn't be able to call Alaska its native country. 

This novel is dedicated to these Alaska pioneers. In the acknowledgements I also reveal a bit of their remarkable lives:

"In 1885, a family of fierce Othodox Jews carved their way from Russia to Juneau, Alaska. That same year, the Goldstein family opened a mercantile on the town's muddy docks and welcomed their eighth child, Belle. That daughter would live one hundred years and see Alaska change from a distant US District into a Territory into our 49th state.

"In 1934, amid the Great Depression, a young actress and widow named Frances Kennan Connor sailed to Juneau by steamship. Classically educated, from an affluent mid-West family, Frances was completely ill-suited for the rugged atmosphere of a gold-mining town. And she stayed.
My grandmother's store on an Alaska postcard

"Perhaps more than anyone, Belle and Frances are responsible for [The Mountains Bow Down]. They were my grandmothers and they poured stories into me. Belle talked about her life, which was epic and included a kidnapping by Tlingit Indians when she was five years old and a thiry-year feud with her eldest brother, Charles, who rescued her from that kidnapping. (In Juneau the buildings that Belle and Charlie erected continue to glare at each other across Seward Street.) 

"Meanwhile, Frances--ever private about her own personal tragedies--fed me books. A city librarian, she designated a shelf behind the front counter and left adventures there. Lloyd Alexander, Joan Aiken, C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle. Better still, she was eager to discuss them.

"Whether writers are born or made, I can't say. But it certainly helps if their tribe cherishes stories."

How much of the story began...

1 comment:

  1. So's amazing the powerful inspiration we can have on someone's life! We most likely would have never had your books without your two awesome grandmas!

    I didn't know 3 of my 4 grandparents; the only one I knew was always sick. I eventually "adopted" grandparents and mentors in my life. It's sooooo much better if they are family, though! :-)

    Thank you for sharing & passing down the legacies!