Did You Know About the Whistlepig?

The Mountain Home Arts Council promotes creative works including producing a periodical issue of The Whistle Pig Literary Journal.*

(*a whistlepig, for those of you new to the area, is a nickname for a groundhog)

There will be a release party for Volume 15 at the Mountain Home Public Library, 790 N 10th E, at 7 p.m. Friday 13 October.

There’s more on their Facebook page, but here’s an example of what you might enjoy in this new issue:

Margaret Koger’s story “The Knife” will be featured in the 2023 Whistle Pig issue. A young Winnie Bullock faces the odds while helping her father homestead a claim between Mountain Home and Boise–as the family anticipates irrigation water that may never come. Two of Grove Koger’s stories will also be included in addition to many more excellent pieces.

“Thanks to the Whistlepig crew, especially Chris DeVore!” says Margaret.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Futuristic, with a Twist

Coming 12 September. Available for pre-order.

Promise collects Christi Nogle’s best futuristic stories ranging from plausible tech-based science fiction to science fantasy stories about aliens in our midst: chameleonic foils hover in the skies, you can order a headset to speak and dream with your dog, and your devices sometimes connect not just to the web but to the underworld.

These tales will recall the stories of Ray Bradbury, television programs such as Black Mirror and The Twilight Zone, and novels such as Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin or Under the Skin by Michel Faber.

They are often strange and dreadful but veer towards themes of hope, potential, promise.

Promise is available from online booksellers, from Rediscovered Books and Barnes and Noble in Boise, select bookstores nationwide, and direct from the author.

Test Your Lit-Wits

The Cabin is hosting a Literary Trivia Night on Wednesday, 13 September. The cost is only $10 (discount for teams) and it promises to be fun.

Join with other Lit-Wits (sorry; I can’t let it go) in the Treasure Valley for this fun event.

Location: Lost Grove Brewing, 1026 S. La Pointe St. in downtown Boise.

More on their website.

Brad Mathews

He’s written 14 novels, mostly in the mystery and thriller genres. He’s also published two fantasy novels and is working on a third. Meet Brad Mathews.

Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?

I’m a morning person. If I have a specific plan for what happens next in the story, I build up to that and then immediately reread the pages to get a feel for overall flow. I do all my writing on my desktop computer.

Do you have any patterns or rituals associated with your writing time?

I need a room with no distractions. Typically, I eat a light breakfast and sit down with a drink to get started for the day.

What do you do when you hit a wall with your writing?

All writers hit walls either as writer’s block or lack of motivation. I like to prepare myself a day or two in advance for when I plan to write. If I don’t feel the story, I usually have some other ideas for blog commentary to keep my mind working.

Do you plan your book in advance (plotting and outlining) or are you a “discovery writer” (AKA “writing into the dark”)? Or are you somewhere in between?

It changes with every book. Sometimes I will do either a loose overall plot outline and sometimes I let the story lead me. Being surprised by the characters and where the story goes is always invigorating, but starting with a general idea, even for sections of the story, helps keep the plot moving.

What’s the last book you read that made you go “wow!”?

The Steven Kinder trilogy by fellow Idaho author Bernard K. Finnigan blew me away. Finnigan manages to write about interdimensional aliens in a way that obeys established laws of physics while perfectly illustrating the abilities of his characters and aliens. He uses lots of pop culture references, which always elicit grins.

What book or author do you find yourself recommending and why?

I am a huge Star Wars nerd and constantly recommend many of the novels to fellow fans. Timothy Zhan is a prominent name in the Star Wars universe.

What’s on your To Be Read pile?

There’s always another Star Wars novel or whatever I find interesting at the library.

What advice do you have for readers?

Read everything you find interesting and expand your reach, especially if you don’t particularly agree with the author or characters’ viewpoints. 

What author, past or present, would you wish to have a long conversation with? Why?

Mark Twain. Everyone already knows his most famous of quotes, but the way he states his views sparks creativity in me. Engaging with that kind of vibrant personality in a one-on-one setting would be a blast.

Do you have early memories of reading or writing you’d like to share?

I started at about age 13, when I wrote a story for an assignment. I easily tripled the word count quota and found the exercise enjoyable. I remember late nights reading my stories to friends when I was still trying to find my voice.

What books and/or authors have most influenced you as an author?

I used to read a lot of Stephen King, Tony Hillerman, and James Patterson. Hillerman’s description of setting is exceptional, and King’s mastery of technical style has always been something I’ve aspired to.

What do you most enjoy about being a writer? What do least enjoy about being a writer?

I think the most common maxim applies. I most enjoy writing and I least enjoy promotion. Many authors hate talking about themselves, and I don’t ever want to come across as a salesman in social interactions.

What would you tell a new writer?

Write. Read. Develop your voice. And don’t let anyone, including yourself, tell you that you can’t.

Find Brad Mathews online:

PETRICHOR is here – a new Idaho writers’ publication

Margaret Koger has written to let us know that the group Boise Spoken Word will shortly be coming out with a new chapbook featuring the work of several Idaho writers. You’ll find several of Koger’s poems, including: “The Muses Sing,” “The Rosebud,” “Who Called Himself Black Sheep,” and “The Shoemaker’s Ashes”.

Read more about Boise Spoken Word and their mission, and download their previous publication Home Grown: An Anthology of Local Voices from their website.

Mark your calendar for a celebration of the new chapbook at Clairvoyant Brewing (2800 W. Idaho St. location, in Boise) on Monday 28 August from 7 to 9 p.m. (MT).

Podcast: Murder in Idaho

It’s called “Ghosts and Garnets” and at last count there were forty-three episodes running mostly around forty minutes.

Who knew there was so much fertile ground for discussing murder in Idaho. But then, on the other hand…

Hat tip to the BSU/NPR newsletter for alerting us to this free podcast.

Photo by David von Diemar on Unsplash

Comic Creation Contest

This information and the featured image from the Boise Public Library newsletter (which you should be subscribing to, if you’re in the area!)

The Boise Comic Arts Festival is coming up in September and it’s time to start getting ready! The Original Comic Creation Contest is your chance to show-off your comic crafting skills by creating a single page of comics to express an idea, set a scene or mood, introduce a character, or tell a story. The contest is open to all ages and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes will be awarded in each age category. 

Contest submissions accompanied by a completed entry form can be turned in at any Boise Public Library location. Entry forms will be available at all Library locations or can be downloaded and printed beginning July 1. The contest ends August 31.

Learn more about the event, the contest, and how to submit.

Nogle Wins, and a New Nomination

We wish to acknowledge recent accomplishments of Idaho writer Christi Nogle*

We add our earnest congratulations and best wishes!

*profiled on our pages

Caldwell Book Store Closing

According to the news reported at BoiseDev, Rediscovered Books’ Caldwell store will be closing.

A date is not indicated, but BoiseDev suggests following Rediscovered Books’ Facebook page for the Caldwell store for more details.

UPDATED (from their 3 Aug. newsletter):

Rediscovered Books Caldwell is officially closing its doors at the end of the day, August 12th.

Sales range from 20-50% off with an additional 10% for those who buy 10 items or more. All sales final as of August 2, 2023

Image from Rediscovered Books, edited