A cross-section of local authors — including, from left, Julie Christine Johnson, Kaci Cronkhite and Louise Marley, pen name Louisa Morgan — gathered Saturday evening for Independent Bookstore Day at Port Townsend’s Writers’ Workshoppe/Imprint Books. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

A cross-section of local authors — including, from left, Julie Christine Johnson, Kaci Cronkhite and Louise Marley, pen name Louisa Morgan — gathered Saturday evening for Independent Bookstore Day at Port Townsend’s Writers’ Workshoppe/Imprint Books. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

From witches to marijuana, Jefferson County authors cover the gamut

Locals celebrated on Independent Bookstore Day

PORT TOWNSEND — The scene was more festive than typical at the Writers’ Workshoppe/Imprint Books on Saturday.

Come 5 o’clock, co-owners Anna and Peter Quinn made a toast to local authors, with a cross-section of them on hand. Saturday was national Independent Bookstore Day, and the Quinns were marveling at how they’ve run their shop for 12 years now.

“We’re fortunate to be in this town that’s chock full of artists and writers,” said Peter. The Jefferson County authors beside him included his wife Anna, whose novel “The Night Child” has enjoyed much acclaim; organic plant-care advisers Kathryn Wadsworth and David Deardorff; children’s author and writing teacher Patrick Jennings and Julie Christine Johnson, who’s now finishing her fourth novel.

Standing with them were also Kaci Cronkhite, author of “Finding Pax: The Unexpected Journey of a Little Wooden Boat” and Louise Marley, who under the pen name Louisa Morgan has a new novel, “The Witch’s Kind,” just out.

Marley/Morgan is among those with free readings set at the Writers’ Workshoppe/Imprint Books, 820 Water St. She’ll read from and sign copies of “Witch’s” at 7 p.m. June 22.

Another Port Townsend author, Erica Baumeister, will appear with her new novel, “The Scent Keeper,” at 7 p.m. May 25. Many other events are listed at writersworkshoppe.com.

Saturday’s get-together toasted the more than 60 local authors the Quinns know of. Among those not in attendance were Annie Proulx, whose works include “The Shipping News,” winner of the Pulitzer Prize and U.S. National Book Award.

She now lives in Port Townsend, as does Charlie Bermant, the former Peninsula Daily News journalist who writes about his obsession with popular music, musicians and concerts in “A Serious Hobby” and “Never Enough: My Cultural Journey.”

It’s been another kind of cultural journey for Wadsworth and Deardorff. Over the past nine years they’ve gone from “What’s Wrong with My Plant (and How Do I Fix It)?” and “What’s Wrong with My Vegetable Garden?” to their most recent, “What’s Wrong with My Marijuana Plant?”

The Writers’ Workshoppe/Imprint Books offers classes, intensives and room rentals for writers all over the genre map. To provide even more help, one of the poets present Saturday has written a kind of guidebook.

Holly J. Hughes, along with coauthor Brenda Miller, has “The Pen and the Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World” up there on the shelf with the rest.

________

Diane Urbani de la Paz, a former features editor for the Peninsula Daily News, is a freelance writer living in Port Townsend.

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