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Pair of Indiana authors to speak at PCPL Festival of the Books

Monday, August 24, 2009

GREENCASTLE -- Travel through time Sept. 12 at the Putnam County Public Library as part of its Festival of the Books. In an eight-hour span, FOB attendees will journey through various periods of history through fiction and non-fiction.

To help with the tour will be several Indiana authors including James Alexander Thom and John Bower.

Thom, who was recently named the first Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Award recipient for his work, will share his version of traveling through time through his research of the past for his many novels.

He will talk about his newest book "The Art and Craft of Writing," which will be published in January 2010. Thom's wife, Dark Rain, will accompany him to answer questions from the Native American perspective.

In the early days, Thom was a reporter and columnist for the Indianapolis Star.

"Even then, I knew that my heart and mind were in the things I wanted to say in books," Thom has said.

Today, Thom has sold more than 2 million copies of his novels. "Following the River," the story of a young Virginia woman captured by Shawnee Indians and her subsequent 1,000-mile escape, is now in its 37th printing and still sells 30,000 to 40,000 copies per year.

Thom currently resides with Dark Rain in a 130-year-old log cabin in Owen County. He is also often found at work as an environmental spokesman with his wife at his side.

Readers will also be able to travel through the history of transportation with Hoosier photographer John Bower. After crisscrossing the state in search of an extensive, culturally influential transportation heritage, Bower produced his sixth photography book "Journey's End: Relics and Ruins of Indiana's Transportation Legacy."

In his book, Bower showcases forlorn and rusting steam locomotives, diesel engines, automobiles, trucks, interurbans and towboats -- as well as crumbling infrastructure, factories and garages. These are all rapidly disappearing objects and places from a collective past that have helped define Indiana as a state.

"To me, the abandoned houses and rusting automobiles dotting the countryside retain a special energy left behind by their former owners," noted Bower.

On explorations with his wife Lynn, Bower typically drives more than 10,000 miles per year and has visited every town in Indiana. His photographs often become the only remaining visual record of these unique cultural treasurers.

"In exploring back roads and out-of-the-way places, I've been pleased to discover fascinating aspects of Indiana's unique heritage," said Bower. "My goal is to preserve, on film and in books, the richness, significance and value that surrounds us -- yet often goes unnoticed -- so it can be experienced and appreciated by others."

Bower will give a PowerPoint presentation about his latest book during Festival of the Books.

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Attendees of the tour at the Greencastle Public Library are extremely lucky & I am extremely jealous. James Alexander Thom is one of my very favorite authors. I have read & re-read several of his books. My husband & I are natives of Indiana & come back for visits once or twice a year. Too bad that we cannot come back for this occasion. One of my dreams would be fulfilled. Enjoy, tour attendees!

-- Posted by ConnieS on Mon, Aug 24, 2009, at 9:24 PM

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