With You In Spirit

Book Club Kits and Skypes

Time’s running out for more than getting Grandpa Samuel’s power of attorney signed.  

A Sudden Light book club kits are going into action across the country, complete with individual touches from each group of readers. One reader put on blue nail polish for the occasion, and other book clubs invited friends and fellow community members to join the fun. The ABC House readers, pictured here, hooked up their laptop to a television for better Skype experience.

If your book club plans to read A Sudden Light this coming year, now’s your last chance to request a FREE A Sudden Light book kit for your book discussion. Additionally, book clubs can also request a Skype meeting with Garth. Claim one here before they’re all gone!

Book clubs who send in a picture of their club will be entered in a drawing to win a signed copy of the Easton Press leatherbound edition of The Art of Racing in the Rain.

On The Road

Highlights from 2015

The winter holidays and New Year mean two things for Garth: time off from his busy touring schedule, and a chance to look back at some of 2015’s fun, if hectic, events.

Early 2015 brought Garth to Camarillo Reads in California, where staff designed and wore special shirts with an Enzo decal. A few days later, Garth welcomed an unusual guest to his One Book One Glendale presentation: a young guide-dog-in-training. Guide dogs require years of patient instruction, and this puppy’s foster family decided he needed to practice staying calm in large crowds. What better opportunity than a book reading for The Art of Racing in the Rain?

Last year also marked Garth’s third visit to the Stafford Creek Correctional Center in Aberdeen, WA. Handlers with the center’s Freedom Tails program enjoyed his first visit so much, they talked Garth into returning for a book read with the rest of the general population. Garth donated copies of How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets for offenders to read, then popped in for a book reading and discussion on writing, telling stories, and more.

Said organizer Karen Diehm, “It sure was good to see [Garth]!  The offenders all loved their interaction with [him] and appreciated [him] taking the time to come down.” Find out more about Garth’s visit at the Washington State Library blog.

Garth’s travels also took him to New Brunswick, Canada, for the Big Rothesay Read, which provided students with copies of the limited edition Costco Canada edition of The Art of Racing in the Rain, whose cover stars one of the best-dressed Enzos. Students created their own Enzo out of student signatures.

Says organizer Sarah Kimball, “Garth's talk this morning went great!  He's awesome!”

Keep an eye on Garth’s events calendar, website, and this newsletter to find out what 2016 holds!

How Garth Writes

Hammers and Tools of the Trade

Just before his travels took him to the National Writers’ Series in Traverse City, Garth spoke with Jill Tewsley about A Sudden Light, Enzo, and his favorite writing tools.

Question: What tool is a favorite and seems intrinsic to your writing process?
Garth: A hammer. Usually wielded by my wife when she’s editing my work. Because most bad writing is bad because the writer’s ego gets in the way. We must take a hammer to our ego if we want to write good books. A book is not about the writer; it’s about the characters and the story. And until the writer of a work understands that, the work will always feel contrived. So my favorite tool is definitely a hammer.  
(I mean, in reality, my favorite tool is a chainsaw, because chainsaws are angry and snarling and powerful and no-nonsense. But if I said “chainsaw” in answer to your question, your readers would think I’m a little bit crazy. And I probably am a little bit crazy, but aren’t we all? And anyway, I don’t want people thinking of me holding a snarling chainsaw. I think people would rather like to imagine a writer holding a little ball-peen hammer, carefully hammering away at a metal sculpture. But in reality, writers use chainsaws. And not electric ones, either. Oil-in-the-gas-jug, two-stroke, grip-it-and-rip it chainsaws. Oooh. Just thinking of the sound and smell of a chainsaw wants me to get back to work on my new novel!)  

Catch the rest of Garth’s interview on

Racetrack Dog

Sightings of Enzo at the Races

Visitors to West Coast amateur car races sometimes glimpse a familiar face on the track. John McDermott’s racing cars (a BMW Pro 3 and a Spec E46) have carried window decals of Enzo, from The Art of Racing in the Rain, for several years. 

Last summer, John upgraded from the hardback cover dog to a window decal of Little Enzo running in the rain, taken from Bob Alley’s illustrations for Enzo Races in the Rain!

Next time you’re at the racetrack, keep an eye out for John and Enzo. John participates in amateur races, including 25 Hours of Thunderhill, with some of the finest semi-professional drivers in the country. Garth himself attended 2015’s Thunderhill race, where he hung out with his friend Kevin York’s Team Grip. The team’s cars finished 1st and 2nd in their class. Way to go, Team Grip! next up for them is the national championship for their division, the SCCA Run-offs.

My peace I give unto you.

February 2016

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A Sudden Light
A family confronts long-buried secrets as it struggles for forgiveness and redemption in this breathtaking story set against the majestic beauty of the Pacific Northwest

An Endless Task

Piper Castillo of the Tampa Bay Times chatted with Garth to find out what his 2015 reading pile looked like. The next big question: which books did he finish? According to Garth, he read thirty-three books in 2015 and still has a monster To-Be-Read pile. Find out more and keep up with his updates from his travels and writing den on Facebook.

Garth's Calendar

American School of Milan
Milan, Italy
February 1-5, 2016

Clearwater Library
Clearwater, FL
March 13, 2016

Literary Society
Fort Myers, FL
March 15, 2016

Eden Prairie Reads
Eden Prairie, MN
April 19, 2016

Owensboro Community & Technical College
Common Reading
Owensboro, KY
April 21, 2016

For more information on these and other events,
visit Garth's website.
Copyright © 2016 Terra Communications, All rights reserved.

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