Six local authors at Olympia book fair

Olympia Harbor House hosted a local authors’ book fair Nov. 9. This book fair showcased six local, independent authors who read, sold and signed their books for those in attendance.

This fair presented a colorful array of books telling stories of paranormal activities, a world of dreams, clans from different worlds, and world-traveling investigators.

Guy Simpson, an Aberdeen, Wash. native, had his first book on Amazon’s Top 10 Best Seller List starting on Oct. 30. Brotherhood of Olympus is the first in the saga. It is a young adult series based on paranormal/horror events set in Aberdeen in the 1970’s. Simpson said his saga was fictionalized of true events he encountered. All the illustrations in the book are done by Simpson.

Simpson earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in teaching from The Evergreen State College. He teaches at Ridgeline Middle School in Yelm where he was encouraged to write by his students.

However, it was his wife’s diagnosis of cancer that reminded Simpson life is short. He then wrote his book, Brotherhood of Olympus, in two and a half weeks. This book was then published September 2012. Brotherhood of Olympus is available at Olympic Cards and Comics, and online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Another local author at the book fair, Andrea Von Botefuhr, wrote a creative children’s story called The Land of Smaerd. She wrote this story hoping kids would be inspired to “cultivate imagination,” she said.

Von Botefuhr said her book is about a dream world where all things are possible in the land of Smaerd. She said she believes children should be encouraged to express their creativity.

Von Botefuhr said she originally wrote this story in 1964 when she was only ten years old. Years later, Von Botefuhr said her younger sister rhymed the whole story while waiting in an airport.

The story was published in 2008, rhymes and all, with illustrations from award-winning artist Bryn Barnard. The Land of Smaerd won the Silver Moonbeam InternationalChildren’s Book Award soon after being published. This book is available online through landofsmaerd.com.

Local author, D.M. Edwards wrote the Julian Sebasst Novels. He said had no idea writing was his passion until he stumbled acrossed it “totally by chance,” he said. He wrote a short story for a co-worker as a Christmas gift. He said the gift was a big success, and he had all of his coworkers encouraging him to write more.

Edward’s five Julian Sebasst Novels are very quick-paced with action, intricate plotting, and conspiracies, he said.

The first novel in the series, Killing Quick, takes place in a town called “Evergreen.” Edwards said the town is based on his hometown of Tacoma, Wash.

The rest of the series takes place in exotic locations like Belize and the Caribbean. Edwards said he loves doing research to learn all he can about places he’s never been able to visit.

Edwards greatest triumph with his Julian Sabasst Novels was creating an African-American protagonist as a good role model; something he said he had not seen much of in the media. His books are about being loyal to your friends and family.

Putting yourself out there as an author can be scary, admitted Edwards, but I encourage writers to never give up. The Julian Sebasst Novels can be found online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Rod Mortin, local author, started writing his sci-fi, action-packed book, Forbidden Paths, as a heritage project for his children. Mortin said he wanted to create something to pass on to his family.

This young adult book is about “teaching young people to think for themselves,” said Mortin. He said Forbidden Paths is about three people from different clans drawn by fate to attempt to survive the menacing Rift Valley.

While working for the Wash. State Department of Ecology and having a family of his own, Mortin said writing a book is “not as hard as one might think.” Mortin gives advice for future writers saying “life will always interfere, but if it’s worth doing you’ll find time.”

Mortin’s book is available in Olympia’s Orca Books store, and online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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