URI writers do more than just write news

Rarely do I boast about the Independent or the people who write and work here. But I feel justified this time in saying a few words about the quality of writing and writers who you get to read regularly. But I take this time to break with tradition to tell you about staff and stringers.

What small town newspaper can brag that they have not just one, but three authors writing on a regular basis for the paper? Well, the Independent does and you read their work every week. Granted that reporting for a newspaper and writing a novel is something entirely different, but that should show just how versatile they are.

Flo Blake wrote a true story documenting her life for the purpose of dispelling the myth that all Sicilians are cold blooded killers or gang members. For those that have had the pleasure of reading it, it is a story of survival and of faith. Flo spent a couple of years pitching the book to publishers before finally being published. The book was well received and her publisher,(Winepress Publishers) even promoted the book on over 950 radio stations throughout the country. The Sicilian Nobleman’s Daughter is still available on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.

Ralph McKechnie self published his book, Fistfull of Biscuits in 2007 and promptly sold out. Since then it has gone through a revision and is waiting to be reprinted now. During the meantime, his first fiction work, The Elk River Lode (a working title) (based in part on Rogue Valley history) is nearly complete and should be ready sometime this winter. This book is an action adventure novel which makes the protagonist, Dan Parker, doubt his senses while he is dealing with some unsavory characters and a mystery from the distant past.

Lynn Leissler, has written two books, the Dream Patchers and The Fix-It Sisters. Both are works of fiction. The Dream Patchers is about romance and mystery. In her own words, Tori Franklin opens Needles & Patches, a small town quilt shop, all the while dealing with ghosts from the past, guilt and fear, and the two men who pursue her. She says of her book The Fix-It Sisters: in this cozy mystery, two middle-aged widowed sisters return to their small Southern Oregon hometown and buy an old house. As the renovation commences, they discover a decades-old skeleton in the cellar.

Not to be outdone is Christi Pitto, while not a published author, is published in National Geopgraphic and then again, not for a book, but for one of her photos. Many have commented on her photos and they are spectacular. She has a new camera and promises to be sending many more exciting and artistic photos.

And to top it all off, we have a future author in Mike Stephens. Mike is currently enrolled at Southern Oregon University in a creative writing course. Mike writes sports during the school year and is doing racing this summer, though he writes about other topics as well.





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