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Paradox entertains and intrigues.

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     I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I swore I would not go out on Black Friday, but my daughter was visiting from WA and dragged me to the stores with her. It actually turned out okay and I got ahead of my usual last minute Christmas shopping.
     Like many of you, I find myself engaged in holiday activities. My husband and I love to decorate for Christmas. Twinkling lights and garland already adorn the windows and my huge Dept 56-North Pole Series-Christmas Village is currently under construction. Between family and friends, we’ll have plenty of opportunities to show off our holiday wonderland. Okay, so that’s what’s going on now, but what about the last couple of months.
     I attended my first writer’s conference sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers in Denver, CO. What a great experience! I met many wonderful people in the author community and, of course, picked up several writing and publishing tips. I’ll definitely go back.
     In support of my local writers’ organization, I now hold the position of Vice-President and Program Director of the Central Oregon Writers Guild. This group has been an enormous help to me over the past year in launching my career as an author. I am glad to be a part of its continued success, as well as the value it brings to members and to the Central Oregon communities.
     My personal short story in this issue is about my recent experience at a middle school in Southwest Washington. Read on for the whole story. In case you missed earlier stories, you can access previous issues of my newsletter at www.ruthcolter.com.
I know you are wondering when book 2 of The Zelfar Trilogy will be available. My keyboard is smoking. Stay tuned for the official release date.
Zelfar, The Discovery is available with direct links for ibooks with itunes, and nook with Barnes & Noble, plus kindle and paperback through Amazon. Other e-reader formats can be downloaded through Smashwords.
     If you love a light Sci-Fi adventure, join Zophie as she embarks on a hair-raising journey from her utopian world through a secret portal to the historic Pacific Northwest. To find the cure to save her world, will she be willing to trade hover transports for motorized vehicles and instant communication for old-fashioned books? With the help of her fun-loving husband and very wise grandmother, woodland animals and purse-snatching street people are the least of her worries.
Buy at Ruth Colter -- Author of Paradox Suspense Fantasy
     Thanks to my grandson, I had the honor of speaking to several classes at a middle school in Southwest Washington. Juleyn had shared my book with his language arts teacher. She enjoyed it and asked if I would be willing to come visit his class. Of course, I was happy to oblige. When she and I connected, the request grew to include another 7th grade class, an 8th grade class, and a group of 6th graders. I was a little nervous, having no idea what I’d just signed up for.
     It was a few days before Halloween, so on Juleyn’s recommendation, I showed up with candy for everyone. I was an instant hit. The students, teachers, and principal were all amazing. I felt like a celebrity. Flannery, the teacher’s college-age daughter, even volunteered to escort me from class to class. I so appreciated having her assistance. She enjoys writing (was even named after a famous author) and wants to write and produce screenplays. Writers love the company of other writers.
     In my presentation to each group, I talked about my experience as an author - how I was inspired to write a novel and how I built the story and characters. The students even listened attentively as I explained the tedious aspects of editing and publishing. I read them a chapter from Zelfar, the one where the scientists discover the portal and the pristine world beyond. The students were so attentive that I knew they were either truly interested in my story or trying hard to impress their teacher. I grew up in that area and my book is set in that area, so that probably helped, too. One 8th grade boy had already read Zelfar. He had borrowed it from the local library. How cool is that! I took a risk and asked publicly if he enjoyed it. He said yes and wanted to buy his own autographed copy. It doesn’t get much better than that!
     I was also impressed by the sincerity and clarity of the questions asked by various students. For example: How do I get my ideas? How has being an author changed my life or lifestyle? How long have I been writing? When did I know I wanted to be an author?
     In case you’re curious, too, the short answers are: I get my ideas mostly from brainstorming with someone else. Since I was already retired and my book has only been out a short while, my life/lifestyle hasn’t changed much, but ask me again in a couple of years. I hope to someday suffer from the Oprah or Ellen effect. I’ve been writing short stories and poems since middle school. I’ve always wanted to be an author, but I also thought I would write non-fiction self-help books, like how to be a better manager or how to find your passion. In striving to entertain my sister, I fell in love with writing fiction. You never know what catalyst will lead you to your passion. I’m grateful that I’ve found mine and I love sharing my passion with you. Thank you for your part in this wonderful journey.
Love and Joy, Ruth Colter