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More than two dozen local authors to gather at Beaverton Library for fair.



TIMES PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Beaverton author Mary Elizabeth Summer holds up one of the Beaverton City Library's copies of her first published book, 'Trust Me, I'm Lying.'A teenage con artist swept into a world of mystery and intrigue. A galactic empire on the brink of interstellar war. A singing cowboy on a mission to wrest his hometown from the clutches of a two-bit tyrant. A photograph of a crumbling city sidewalk alongside melancholic verse.

All of these are the creations of Washington County authors, and they’ll be on display — alongside many, many more — at a local author fair at the Beaverton City Library on Saturday.

This is the second year of the fair, a program spearheaded by library reference assistant Helen Butler.

“We were getting a lot of requests from authors to come and present their work, and (we) thought it would just be a good idea to open up a day where they could all come and meet their public and show off their stuff,” Butler explained.

For 28 spots available at this year’s author fair, the library received more than 80 applicants, Butler said.

All but a few of the authors this year live in Beaverton.

“Basically, we’re just supporting our community of writers here in Beaverton,” Butler said.

Mary Elizabeth Summer.One of those is Mary Elizabeth Summer, whose first book, “Trust Me, I’m Lying,” was published in 2014 by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Books.

Summer writes mysteries for young adult audiences. Her protagonist, whose adventures continue in last year’s follow-up novel “Trust Me, I’m Trouble,” is a grifter-for-hire at a Chicago high school. It’s not a lifestyle Summer knows herself — or so she says — but she said she has enjoyed doing research to get into the mindset of her characters.

“My day job is instructional designer,” she said. “I work with subject matter experts to build training for companies, so that has actually really transitioned well into my author life. ... I have a skill set of how to work with subject matter experts and take what they know that’s highly technical and distill it down to something that the everyday person will understand.”

Summer said she has had a lifelong interest in writing and has tried a number of forms and genres, but she seems to have settled on young adult mystery.

Amy DuBoff.“I really just fell in love with that age group,” said Summer, who has also worked with the Beaverton Library’s teen council. “You can do a lot with teenagers — (it’s) just more exciting, in a lot of ways, because it’s coming-of-age stories, and they’re doing a lot of things for the very first time, which has got a whole lot of conflict inherent in it. It just was a very interesting age group for me.”

Amy DuBoff, also of Beaverton, self-published her first book a little more than a year ago. Then another. And another. And another. “Crossroads of Fate,” the fifth volume in her “Cadicle” series, a space opera she likens to the “Star Wars” saga, is set to be released later this year.

DuBoff describes her genre as “speculative fiction” — science fiction with some fantasy elements.

“I like to write what I enjoy reading, and I find that reading is an escape from the world around me,” she explained. “And so I’m drawn to books that completely transport me into a different world.”

Scott Cherney.Scott Cherney, meanwhile, has bounced from style to style, but a consistent theme has been his quirky sense of humor. His plays have been produced across the country, and he said he thinks he is probably better known as a playwright than he is as a novelist.

“Since I don’t act anymore, my one and only creative outlet right now is writing,” he said.

Cherney, who lives in Hillsboro, said he is trying to “reclaim my position as an author again, because I still have stories to tell and I’d like to get going on that as soon as possible, because time’s running out.”

Cherney will read from his latest book, “Song of the Canyon Kid,” at the author fair. He describes it as a “Western comedy romance,” based on one of his melodramas.

“Even though on the outside, it looks like a trifle ... it means a lot to me,” he said. “It’s all about homecoming.”

Naomi Fast.For author Naomi Fast, everything about her work is personal.

Instead of writing fiction, Fast writes poetry. She said she is inspired by the world around her, the everyday details she finds while bicycling through Beaverton, where she lives, or her former home in Portland. She’s also a photographer, taking pictures of scenes that interest her.

“In this series, photographs wanted to be a part of it for me,” said Fast, who was a news intern at the Beaverton Valley Times in 1999. “So this series has some of my shorter poems and photographs. ... Some of those photos actually inspired poetry, but they really called out to be a part of the Portland book.”

Fast self-published “Portland Light: Post-Industrial City Poems & Photography” last summer.

She has two more books in the series on the way, she said.

“There’s so much change in Portland right now that I just felt like I wanted to capture some of it,” Fast said. “Just my little world of it, you know?”

This year’s author fair coincides with the Beaverton Farmers Market, just across Southwest Hall Boulevard from the Beaverton Library.

“We thought we would take advantage of the traffic at the farmers market, so (patrons) can buy veggies and get a book from a local author,” Butler explained. “I mean, it’s a pretty great day, right?”

Butler is hoping to continue the program next year.

“We’ve had a great response,” she said.

The author fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in meetings rooms A and B downstairs at the library, which is located at 12375 S.W. Fifth St. There is no cost to attend.

TIMES PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Naomi Fast, a poet and photographer who lives in Beaverton, shows pictures from her book 'Portland Light.'


By Mark Miller
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