Sunday, September 13, 2009

Jamie Ford (Past Participant)

I talked with Jamie in the bookstore last summer and really enjoyed hearing his success story. Jamie told me that he was assigned to Squaw Valley Community of Writers Staff Member Andrew Tonkovich for his one-on-one consultation. Andrew told him to quit his job and finish the manuscript! Jamie eventually did quit his job and published Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet in 2009.
In an interview published on the Random House website, Jamie talks about how a button worn by his father after the bombing of Pearl Harbor drew him into his initial research:

"It really started with the “I am Chinese” button, which my father mentioned wearing as a kid. There was a bit of an identity crisis in the International District in the wake of Pearl Harbor. Many Chinese families feared for their safety, especially as the FBI was rounding up prominent members of the Japanese community." Jaime's research inspired his short story, "I am Chinese," which was accepted for publication by Glimmer Train. Jaime wrote another short story, based on his research on the Wa Mei Massacre, which was a mass shooting in the mid- ’80s at a backroom casino in Seattle's Chinatown, where his grandfather once worked.  He says, "I was paging through some old news articles and there was an unrelated mention of the Panama Hotel about the owner finding the belongings of all these Japanese families. When I wrote Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, I dug further into that story and eventually contacted the hotel owner and flew out to Seattle. It was amazing and humbling to see what still remains to this day in that dank, dusty basement."
Jaime didn't know it then, but his journey to a Seattle basement would lead him to a debut novel.

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I have enjoyed putting together our little bookstore up in Squaw Valley over the past four years. We love our bookstore and it has been your support that makes it all possible, so Thank You!

I have received many requests for an online SVCW Bookstore. Some who miss us when they are away, and others who are just tired of lugging all those hardcovers around on airplanes. There are also those writers who are honest about being broke and needing to purchase books at Amazon's discounted prices. As fellow writers, we understand your pain!

For these reasons I thought it would be fun to try our hand at a SVCW Books and Authors blog. I will track down our authors and past participants and post their books, news, reviews and information and link our SVCW books to Amazon. Ten percent of every book purchased through our blog will help support the bookstore. I am looking forward to building an online archive of the outstanding collection of books represented by authors who frequent the Community of Writers.

Thanks for visiting our Community of Writers blog!

Community of Writers Onsite Bookshop Manager