Laura Whitcomb’s Blog

November 16, 2009

Laura Whitcomb

Today Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs is featured on author Laura Whitcomb’s blog. I’m fortunate to live in the same area as Laura, and she was the first author my mother-daughter book club connected with. We invited her to our meeting where we would discuss her book, A Certain Slant of Light, and she accepted the invitation. It just blew us all away that an author was actually going to be at our meeting. Then we got nervous. Would she think we didn’t know what we were talking about when we said what we thought of her book? What if we didn’t like it? Would there be awkward silence as we thought of questions to ask her?

There was no need to worry at all. Laura joined us for dinner before the discussion, and by the time we settled down to discuss the book we had gotten over our pre-meeting jitters.We did like A Certain Slant of Light, and Laura was able to answer several questions the moms and girls had about what we had read. We also talked to her about the process of writing a book and getting it published. It was a memorable evening that we wish we could have repeated more often. Here’s an interview with Laura I scheduled after we met:

I recently learned that Laura has written a sequel to A Certain Slant of Light, which I can’t wait to read as soon as it’s in print. You may also be interested in checking out another book she’s published called The Fetch, which I’ve previously reviewed here.

Three Great Authors to See at Once in Portland

October 29, 2009

Susan Fletcher, Pamela Smith Hill and Laura Whitcomb all together for a combined reading? That’s almost too good to be true, but sure enough I was lucky enough to be at that event last night at Annie Bloom’s bookstore in Multnomah Village. If you live in the Portland area, you should definitely mark their next joint appearance on your calendar. It’s this Saturday, October 31, 2009 at A Children’s Place, 4807 N.E. Fremont St. in Portland. (503) 284-8294.

This trio got together in honor of Halloween for a presentation entitled Dragons, Ghosts and Grails. They each read from their books: Fletcher from The Dragon Chronicles, Hill from The Last Grail Keeper and Whitcomb from A Certain Slant of Light and The Fetch. It was such a pleasure to hear each author read her words and talk about their upcoming books. They even had door prizes and Halloween candy to offer up to attendees. I was happy to get several books signed that I plan to offer as giveaways in the weeks to come. Stay tuned for more info on that.

Here’s a photo I took of the authors last night:


Authors Laura Whitcomb, Susan Fletcher and Pamela Smith Hill at Annie Bloom’s.

Book Review: The Fetch by Laura Whitcomb

June 3, 2009

The Fetch

The Fetch by Laura Whitcomb

Calder left his human life when he was only nineteen, and in the 300+ years since then he has been a Fetch, a being sent to guide humans to the afterworld when they die. Calder enjoys helping people find the peacefulness that comes when their souls move on, and he’s never been tempted to alter the decision of a soul teetering between life and death. That changes in the early 1900s when he ends up fascinated by the caregiver at the bedside of a boy. He wills the boy to live for her sake.

Years later, he ends up at the same bedside, and he decides he must meet the woman who cares for the boy. Calder enters the body of a dying man, trading places with him in the process, and he sets in motion a series of events that threaten to overwhelm the land of the living and unbalance the land of the dead.

On earth, Calder becomes involved with the lives of Rasputin and the Russian royal family shortly before and after they are taken hostage during the revolution. He realizes he must set the earthly world and the spiritual one back to rights, but first he must discover how.

In The Fetch, Laura Whitcomb has created an inventive tale that is part supernatural mystery and romance, and part historical fiction. With Calder we travel from the unrest in Russia, to the first Hollywood movie studios, to New York and London. Larger than life historical figures Rasputin, Anastasia and Alexis join Calder on his quest while also searching for their own peaceful afterlife. Can they succeed? The Fetch leaves you guessing right up to the end.

Interview with Laura Whitcomb

February 22, 2007


Our mother daughter book club with Laura Whitcomb (back left).

I interviewed Laura Whitcomb, author of A Certain Slant of Light, for last week. Here are some excerpts from the interview:

Q: The subject matter of A Certain Slant of Light is a bit mature, and it’s recommended for an audience of 9th grade and older. Did you have a young adult audience in mind when you were writing?

LW: “Actually I was just trying to write the best story I could think of in the best way I could tell it. My agent sent it out to both adult and YA editors. After it sold as YA, it made sense to me – even though the ghosts were in their twenties when they died, the bodies they took over were teens. The characters had to deal with teen life.”

Q: You’ve attended a Mother Daughter Book Club meeting where A Certain Slant of Light was being discussed. What was it like hearing readers’ comments about your book?

LW: “It’s always interesting to hear people talk about something you wrote. I was impressed by the sophistication of the questions and comments from both generations. It feels great to have your work be the fuel for such lively conversation.”

For complete text check out her interview on

I met Whitcomb a year ago when she came to a meeting for my Mother Daughter Book Club. At first it was a little awkward for everyone, the group members because we had never talked about a book with the person who had written it before, and Laura because she hadn’t attended a meeting where people she didn’t know were talking about her book. But Laura was truly charming and before long we got comfortable and started chatting about the characters and the story line. It was very interesting to hear her reasoning behind certain plot lines and to get a feeling for her idea of the characters’ personalities.

I’ve since heard Laura speak at the monthly meeting for Willamette Writers about her non-fiction book as well as A Certain Slant of Light and I continue to be impressed by her down-to-earth demeanor and her approachability.

It’s definitely worthwhile to see if there are children’s or young adult authors in your area who would attend a meeting to discuss the book with your group members. Some authors may not be open to this, but you may be surprised how accessible many of them are.