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Brighten Autumn With
A Sudden Light

Book Club Kits Now Available


Summer’s over, but no need to get gloomy! Enjoy the fall colors with your book club and A Sudden Light. To celebrate A Sudden Light’s paperback release, and to support book clubs, we’ve put together a FREE book-club kit containing:
  • North Estate-themed decorations
  • Lemonade cups, matches, and temporary tattoos
  • Words and Music in the Orbit of A Sudden Light: a companion CD with readings by Garth, as well as themed songs performed by the Rejections (and Trailing Spouses) and other bands
  •  A special companion booklet with anecdotes, A Sudden Light backstory from Garth, plus recipes for making Serena’s lemonade, Grandpa Samuel’s medicine, and more
Additionally, book clubs that use the kit can invite Garth to visit their book-club get-together via Skype.

The free book-club kits are available to any book club with six or more members and a valid mailing address.  Request one today on Garth’s website!  If you send us a picture of your book club using the kit during your discussion of A Sudden Light, we’ll include it in Garth’s website photo gallery and enter you in a drawing to win a signed leather-bound limited edition of The Art of Racing in the Rain, published by Easton Press!

Trees for Enzo!

Enzo Hunts For Christmas Trees


Tree-climbing … yet another thing Enzo needs opposable thumbs for.  Trevor in A Sudden Light discovers the joy of climbing centuries-old giant trees, but Enzo will just stick to Christmas trees for now, thanks.

Enzo and the Christmas Tree Hunt, the second of four planned “little Enzo” picture books, was published by Harper Children's in late September. In describing his latest kids’ book, Garth called it: “My most autobiographical book to date.  Let’s see…a Christmas tree farm in Issaquah (check), Newfoundland dogs hauling trees in carts (check), a fast moving, heavy snowstorm that makes a dad panic (check), and a sweet, happy ending (double-check).”  

Sounds just about right!  You can pick up a copy of Enzo and the Christmas Tree Hunt, as well as last year’s picture book, Enzo Races in the Rain!, at any fine bookstore.

There's An Award For That?

Indie Champion Award


After years spent championing and supporting independent booksellers, Garth received a surprise this March when he found out there’s an award for that — and he was on the nominee list!

The American Booksellers Association nominated Garth for the 2015 Indie Champion award.  According to ABA’s official announcement, the Indie Champion award recognizes an “author, illustrator, or group that, in the opinion of booksellers, has the best sense of the importance of independent bookstores to their communities at large and the strongest personal commitment to foster and support the mission and passion of independent booksellers.”  The 2015 award went to Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer, but for Garth, “just being nominated is an honor.”


Garth and the booksellers from Byrd's Books (Conn.) have a little backstage fun.

On The Road

From Snow To Sunlight


Garth’s nomination for 2015 Indie Champion came after a busy start to the year, as he crisscrossed the country visiting libraries, literary festivals, and numerous independent booksellers.  Many of his bookseller hosts championed him back when he was a little-known debut novelist.

February brought Garth to Central Oregon for the first time in several years.  First stop was the Deschutes Public Library’s "Author! Author!" series. The next morning, Garth overheard two locals discussing him in a coffee shop as he tried to write.  A flier with Garth’s photo caught the locals’ interest on the cafe bulletin board and, although disappointed they’d missed his "Author! Author!" talk, they quickly cheered up when they realized Garth was scheduled to give another talk nearby at Paulina Springs Books that very night.  And so they departed with their lattes, not realizing Garth was sitting mere inches away, wondering whether they would ever turn around and recognize him.
[photo courtesy of Dr. Sue Dougherty]

Warmth and sunshine welcomed Garth’s trip to the Bay Area later this spring, and Garth continued his tour of winter sunny spots in Phoenix, where he joined authors Chris Tomlinson, Anita Diamant, Greg Iles, and Cary Elwes at the Brandeis 25th Annual Book and Author Luncheon, a fundraiser for “Sustaining the Mind: Research and Scholarships in Neurodegenerative Diseases” at Brandeis University in Massachusetts.  But the sunshine was not to last...
Late-March snowstorms on the East Coast nearly ended Garth’s next trip when snow advisories canceled his flight to New Jersey.  But not even the East Coast’s freak storms and icy roads were a match for Garth. One red-eye flight, lots of coffee, and a long drive over snowy roads brought Garth to Burgundy Books in Westport, CT just in time to join the guests at a champagne author luncheon.

This fall, Garth embarked on another tour to promote A Sudden Light’s paperback release.  He’s always suspected his traveling took up a lot of time, so he decided to make a log of his travels to see precisely how much time he actually spent on the road.

For this two and a half week trip, Garth logged 2,800 miles in rental cars, from North Carolina to Oklahoma, and from Minneapolis to South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana.  Also, if you follow Garth on Twitter and Facebook, you’ve caught a small glimpse of Garth’s travel experiences with hotels.  When he checks into a new hotel,  Garth snaps a photo and posts it as “Garth’s Hotel Window.”  He’s now up to hotel window #67—that’s the number of hotels he’s stayed in while promoting A Sudden Light!

Gotta Try It Out!

Little Enzo Temp Tattoos


Whenever he gets the chance, Garth prefers to show up early to his bookstore talks to chat with readers and early arrivals (hint, hint).  As Alice of Byrd’s Books mentioned: “Garth came nice and early and spent time with the crowd handing out swag: matches, buttons, chatting, etc. They were thrilled!”

In case you’re wondering what Garth hands out at his book signings, he’s added a new temporary tattoo to his collection.  This one stars Little Enzo from the children’s book Enzo Races in the Rain!  The moment these cuties arrived from the printer, Garth recruited the first available child - his own - to try one out.

Let Them Eat Cake

Tasty Morsels In Traverse City


This was too delicious not to share!  This April, the National Writers Series in Traverse City, Michigan, welcomed Garth with a 400-member audience and special treats from Morsels Bakery, which creates author-themed treats.

What sort of dessert would Garth be?  In a sly nod to Garth’s first novel Raven Stole the Moon, Morsels Bakery designed a dark-chocolate cake with chocolate-cream-cheese frosting titled “garth side of the moon.”

Sweet Victory

Struggling On The Ice


Racing in the rain met its match for those keeping their feet on the ice! Pairs figure skater Alex Shaughnessy hit those icy curves with grace and grit when a serious injury sidelined her mere months before her competition at the 2015 Nationals and her pair’s first international assignment in Slovakia.

After a training accident resulted in several jaw fractures and four fractured teeth, the Massachusetts skater had only half a year to heal, resume training, and prepare a new competition program for the 2015 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January. Undaunted, Alex set to work while taking strength and inspiration from reading The Art of Racing in the Rain.

Garth heard about Alex’s perseverance and sent her a special package with a stuffed zebra. The zebra tagged along to the 2015 Nationals, where Alex and her skating partner, James Morgan, placed 10th in the Senior Pairs competition. Way to go Alex and Jimmy!

Alex is also a proud “dog mom” to Benji and a supporter of MSPCA. You can catch some of Alex and Jimmy’s on-ice talent via their YouTube channel.

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My peace I give unto you.
 


November 2015

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Face-To-Face


Curious about Garth’s approach to the business side of writing?  College radio station WXCI in Westbrook, Conn., hosted Garth for an interview on “Business Backstory.”  Professor Tom Zarecki and aspiring journalist/student Mimi Kelly took turns asking Garth about the steps he took to reach professional success with his writing career.  They later met face-to-face at Garth’s reading/signing for Byrd’s Books.

You can catch the interview here.

Enzo In D.C.


Every year, the Library of Congress brings the National Book Festival to Washington, D.C., for a celebration of books, literacy, and reading.  The 2015 theme follows Thomas Jefferson’s quote “I Cannot Live Without Books.”  This fall, the Washington State Library chose Enzo Races in the Rain! to represent Washington state at the festival. Go Enzo!

Movie News


Another year, and the wait for The Art of Racing in the Rain movie continues.  No additional news has been released, but as soon as we hear anything, it’ll be shared here in the newsletter!

Enzo In Glendale


Glendale’s One Book One Community went to the dogs as the city read The Art of Racing in the Rain this spring.  Activities included a photo shoot for community members and their dogs, plus educational programs with the California Rescue Dog Association, the Glendale Police Department’s K-9 unit, and Therapy Dogs international.

HItting The Highway


Wisconsin highways are a bit more interesting this year as an unusual BMW 850i joins the daily commute.  Formerly owned by Garth’s dad, the BMW and its new owner will take to the streets with unforgettable license plates: GO ENZO.


 

On The Fly


Garth keeps busy, even on the road, and this past spring’s trip was no exception.  In between giving one to two bookstore readings and literary presentations each day, flying and driving across much of the East Coast and Michigan, plus working on his next novel, he took the time to chat with radio-show hosts and reporters from across the nation. Catch Garth’s interview with the Christal Frost Show here.

Garth's Calendar


LCC READS
Montreal, Canada
October 26-27, 2015

Big Rothesay Read
Rothesay, N.B., Canada
October 28, 2015

Write in the Harbor
Gig Harbor, WA
November 6-7, 2015

Danville-San Ramon CityRead
Danville, CA
November 17, 2015

For more information on these and other events,
visit Garth's website.
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