NY Times bestselling author Eleanor Brown brings book tour to Steamboat Springs
IF you go:
What: Library Author Series: Eleanor Brown
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16
Where: Bud Werner Memorial Library, 1289 Lincoln Ave.
Denver — Good news for local fans of “Weird Sisters” author Eleanor Brown. The Denver-based New York Times bestselling author is headed to Steamboat Springs to talk about her latest novel, “The Light of Paris,” at 7 p.m. Aug. 16 at Bud Werner Memorial Library.
Steamboat Today interviewed Brown about her exciting new novel, which was prompted by the grandmother she barely knew.
“The Light of Paris was inspired from some letters that my grandmother had written home when she was in Paris in the 1920s,” Brown said during a morning interview outside a coffee shop and across the street from her favorite gym in Denver.
Brown, whose breakout 2011 novel “Weird Sisters” followed a trio of grown sisters and their eccentric family, used her grandmother’s letters as the basis to create another story about family dynamics.
“It’s a story of two women, Margie in 1924 and Madeleine in 1999,” Brown explained. “Margie escapes this kind of controlling conservative family and has this delicious summer in Paris in 1924 … and then in 1999, her granddaughter Madeleine is in this unhappy situation, and she finds her grandmother’s journals from that summer in Paris and is inspired to change her ways.”
While the journals in the novel were hidden diaries with shocking content, Brown said her own grandmother’s letters were cherished and passed down, describing a young woman’s experiences in 1920s Paris.
“She went on a grand tour of Europe and hit Paris and was like ‘I really love it here. I’m staying,’” Brown said. “A little bit like Margie in the book — she just decided to stay and got a job and found a place to live.”
Brown, a former seventh-grade teacher, is excited to introduce Steamboat fans to “The Light of Paris.” She said the book gets readers to think about the parental/child relationship and looking outside your own pain in order to grow. For years, the main character has put aside her dreams of being an artist to please her mom, or what she thinks her mom wants.
Library staff is excited to host Brown.
“I think this book is a delicious summer read, and it’s the perfect time of year for it,” said Jennie Lay, the library’s adults programs coordinator. “She made a really big splash with her novel “Weird Sisters” and has a ton of local fans here who fell in love with that book. It’s always a huge treat to have great authors visit us at the library, share their stories and their back stories.
“I think in person, she is really funny and vivacious, and I know she’s going to give a really fun talk,” Lay added.
Brown plans on bringing bits of her grandmother’s letters with her to Steamboat, and she said interaction with readers is her favorite part of book tours.
“A lot of people will come up and say I have my uncle’s diaries or things like that. So it’s really nice to know that other people have these pieces of family history too,” Brown said.
Off the Beaten Path will have Brown’s books available for sale and signing at the free Author Series event, which takes place in Library Hall.
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