In the rain-wet woods
Some supplementary imagery for your reading pleasure
In celebration of our joint birthday, Carson and I escaped to the coast this week. We’re holing up in Astoria, kicking around town, getting tattooed, and generally being lazy layabouts while Carson’s sister and brother-in-law (the saints that they are) are hanging with our children.
Of course, my head has been so much in the world of my new book, The Stars Did Wander Darkling, lately that I couldn’t help but flash on it as we tromped around town and walked the trails along the coast. In my mind, Seaham, the town in the book, is an amalgam of Astoria and Manzanita; everything is centered around the environment and the communities in and around the North Oregon coast. I spent a lot of time here when I was writing the book. I hoped to infuse the book with the feel of this magical, otherworldly place.
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When I was twelve, my mom took my sister and I on a roadtrip down the Oregon coast. My grandparents had retired to Ashland, in the southern part of the state, and we were visiting their new home. We started in Astoria and worked our way down through Newport and the dunes. I remember being in awe of the place, of the craggy, windswept coastline, of the conifers on the clifftops, bowed to the gales off the ocean. I was so in my head those days; I was creating worlds and stories that I would never get down on paper.
Even though I live here now, or at least within a ninety minute drive of this magical place, I don’t feel like I’ve lost that feeling. I tried to channel that same wonder into this book. If you’re reading it now, or have finished it, or are planning to dive in, these photos provide a kind of mood board for the vibe of the place. This is the world that Archie Coomes and his friends inhabit. This is the environment they grew up inside. It’s spectacular, but for them, I imagine, pretty ho-hum. This is the scenery they pass as they ride their bikes outside of town; this is where they hike and camp.
Happy reading! If you’re itching for more things The Stars Did Wander Darkling, you should get tix for the upcoming virtual-only book event Third Place Books is hosting on Friday, October 28th at 6 pm pacific. I’ll be reading from the book and chatting with Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket as well as taking questions from the crowd. You can bundle your ticket with a signed copy of the book, too!