June 15, 2009 by Reader's Connection
On Thursday, June 25th, Barbara Shoup, Director of the Writers´ Center of Indiana, will visit College Avenue Libary at 6:00 p.m. Shoup is the author of books for adults and teens, and she will discuss the creative writing process
Shoup and Denman . . . interviewed 23 well-known contemporary authors about the process of crafting fiction to produce this inspirational guide . . . The interviews . . . are well-crafted pieces that show how well Shoup and Denman did their homework. Speaking with Tony Hillerman, Alice McDermott, Jane Smiley, Michael Chabon, and others, the authors draw out very personal responses not only about specific approaches to the creative process but also about how characters evolve and how novels come together. The authors share the motivation, exhilaration, fear, and frustration that transform ideas into words and words into stories. – Library Journal’s review of the 1st edition. A 2nd edition is currently on order.
After Emma, a floundering [ I.U.] college freshman, wins 50 million dollars in the lottery, she discovers that despite her newfound ability to buy anything she wants, she still doesn’t have, or even know, what she needs. As her whole family tries to adjust to their radically different lifestyle, Emma struggles to balance her strong family ties with her need for independence. What could have been a predictably moralistic tale becomes, thanks to Shoup’s rich characterizations and Emma’s dry wit, a surprisingly moving portrait of a young woman’s efforts to find and accept herself. More comic relief comes with the colorful yet realistic characters, such as the Harley-riding grandfather and the sweetly clueless roommate. — Booklist
Vermeer and his ever-increasing family live in his mother-in-law’s house in the Papist corner of Delft . . . Verifiable information about the artist’s home life is sketchy, so Shoup has fleshed it out into a warm, compelling story, creating a loving, but chaotic household for her narrator, a fictional middle daughter, Carelina. Aware of her stern grandmother’s preference for her sisters, lovely Maria and pious Elizabeth, Carelina slips out of the house to visit her adored father in his studio. As she learns to grind pigments and peers through his magical camera obscura, she listens to him discussing philosophy and religion with the great men of his time. She puzzles over the ideas, but is more concerned with the people who make up her world. When she has a surprise encounter with an old friend of her father’s, she discovers the artist within herself. In this book, the smells and tastes of delicious Dutch food, the bustle and excitement of the Grand Market Square, and the luminous glory of Vermeer’s masterpieces are brought vividly to life. — School Library Journal
Lucas Cantrell decides, in his senior year of high school, he has been merely treading water–not really alive, not really his real self. His perfect life in his hometown of Harmony, Indiana–football captain, good grades, cheerleader girlfriend–no longer seems real. No one seems real to him until he meets Allie Bowen, middle-aged survivor of his favorite period of time, the 1960s. Allie is looking for harmony in her own life and fleeing from herself. The story is about how a young man and older woman can be effective friends who help and change the other for the better. Lucas must determine what it is he really wants of life and how to best go about achieving that. Mature young adults–and there is a considerable amount of sex in the book–will readily relate to the characters in the story, especially to Lucas’s struggles. One of the most poignant relations to Lucas was that his full-ride college football scholarship offer comes about only because he “…wanted to kill everyone [he] saw…” — The Book Report
Evie Slade has long ago put her unhappy Indiana childhood behind her and created a quiet, solitary life for herself in New York City. Talented and introspective, as a conservator specializing in the art of seventeenth-century Holland, she has devoted herself to restoring to perfection worlds created in paint.
Now middle-aged and vaguely discontented with her life, Evie gladly accepts a commission to repair a slashed Vermeer at the National Gallery in London. She anticipates being energized by the change of scene and returning to her old life renewed; instead, an affair with archaeologist Cliff Mills and the unexpected arrival of her troubled niece Jenny shatter her serene pursuit of the work she loves.
But most of all it is England . . . that sends her reeling backwards, to confront and resolve the troubling elements of her past. — Author’s website