Before I moved here I didn't know many published authors. But in Pasadena you can practically see at night by the literary lights.
First I'll tell you about Roberta Martinez so you can immediately mark your calendar for an event at Vroman's Bookstore tomorrow evening. Roberta and her friend Patrick Conyers will present and sign their books. Roberta's book, Latinos in Pasadena, "chronicles the legacies of Mexican Americans and other Latino men and women who lived and worked in Pasadena. The Latino community has been an integral part of the San Gabriel Valley, and here is a book that gives it its rich due."
Full disclosure: I've met and enjoyed a lively email exchange with Roberta Martinez. I haven't read her book (yet), but with over 200 vintage photos it's just my thing and it's on my Christmas wish list. Roberta's got about six brains. And I know and she knows and you know that Latinos in Pasadena are people whose time has come.
I don't know Roberta's co-presenter Patrick Conyers, nor have I read his book, Pasadena 1940-2008. However he co-authored the book with Cedar Phillips, who wrote Early Pasadena. (Gotta love Arcadia Publishing for going with a good idea.) John gave me Early Pasadena for my birthday this year and I devoured it. (That's a figure of speech. I didn't actually eat it. I read it voraciously.) I'm a happy reader when you give me archival photos and accompany them with historical information.
And if you do those things with style you might just be Michele Zack, who recently published Southern California Story: Seeking the Better Life in Sierra Madre. Disclosure again: I know Michele. I haven't read her latest book (yet) but I read her previous one, Altadena: Between Wilderness and City (published by the Altadena Historical Society). I loved that one, too. Michele has a knack for digging up juicy little (or big) secrets a town might want to forget but really, really, ought to remember.
I think I could feature a local author every week and never repeat myself. Pasadena's crawling with 'em. Someday I'll even feature myself.
Hey, why not today? Full disclosure: here comes a plug! My story, Belinda's Birthday, is in the running to be Story of the Year at the Rose City Sisters Flash Fiction blog. The story with the most unique page views wins, so go take a look. In fact, three other local bloggers--Susan Carrier, Desiree Zamorano and Margaret Finnegan--have published wonderful stories at Rose City Sisters. All are bright literary lights with whom I'm proud to share a similar flash fiction url.
Leave a comment if you've got something to say. And thanks for supporting your local literati.