Literary Friday ya’ll……

Can you believe that next week is Labor Day Weekend? Where, oh where did my summer go?!

1. Deep South Magazine and their #literaryfriday is hot, hot, hot: Giveaway of Lookaway, Lookaway By Wilton Barnhardt, Decatur Book Festival news, Southern Festival of Books, and much more!

PS: Plus a mention of an interview I did with Katherine Center, author of The Lost Husband, that just happened to make Deep South Mag’s Summer Reading List 2013!

2. Several #giveaways to list this week:

Linus’s Blanket is giving away a copy of The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes! (this giveaway ends TODAY!)

Always With A Book is giving away Three Little Words by Susan Mallery!

Traveling With T is giving away The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim!

Traveling With T is giving away The Lost Husband by Katherine Center!

**Just added: The Book Wheel is giving away Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra.  This giveaway ends in 2 days!

3. Another Blogger Made Of AWESOME was featured this week on Traveling With TKatherine @ Story Matters has quite a story and a nostalgic #literaryconfession!

4. #ctbs is still going on- so far, I’ve read 4 books from my shelf (a far less admirable goal than I’d hoped- but this last week of August might turn things around!)

5. My #fridayreads Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand- what are you reading for #fridayreads?

6. Author Spotlights this week on Traveling With T: Jolina Petersheim, Katherine Center, and Shannon Polson (plus a Shannon Polson Interview!)

7. I reviewed Whistling Past The Graveyard by Susan Crandall this week on Traveling With T!

Happy Reading!

Author Spotlight: Shannon Polson


north of hopeOn Wednesday, I interviewed Shannon Polson, author of North of Hope. Today, we’re going to learn more about Shannon- favorite books, what she wants to read next and more. If you like the author spotlight, be sure and read the interview with Shannon!


Author Spotlight: Shannon Polson

What are some of your favorite books, Shannon?

This is a tough question- my answer is always whatever I’m reading right now. On that note: I just finished Christian Wiman’s My Bright Abyss, which was amazing. I love Annie Dillard and Barry Lopez, all of them, Some of the books I talk about influencing me as I wrote North of Hope (there are so many!) include Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Lopez’s Arctic Dreams, Beryl Markham’s West With the Night, and Jill Ker Conway’s A Road from Coorain.

If you could choose to be a character in a book- who would you choose?

I’ve been reading and writing so much nonfiction lately I’m not sure how to answer that; from the non-fiction standpoint I’m slightly obsessed by Annie Dillard’s voice and perspective.

When not reading or writing- what are some other interests?

I love backpacking with my family, and any kind of skiing. Lately we’ve been skiing Nordic more because of the wee ones. I sing with a classical choral group in Seattle. I love to cook. I love any time with my family. And I really enjoy yoga!

What is your favorite song?

I’m pretty much a classical choral music junkie. And like books, I can never pick a favorite, but I just sang in the Britten War Requiem and it was one of the most incredible choral experiences of my life! Of course, if you’ve read North of Hope, you’ll know I love the Mozart Requiem, too.

Shannon- are you a hardback, paperback, or e-book kind of reader?

All three, in the order you asked!

What are some of the books in your TBR (To Be Read) list?

The stacks and lists are deep and long! Into the Backcountry by Steve Edwards is on my list right now, as is Snow Child by Alaskan Eowyn Ivey. I’m in the middle of Still Points North and the Rock Springs story collection.


*Special thanks to Shannon Polson for agreeing to the author spotlight!


Want to learn more about Shannon? She can be found on Facebook, Twitter and her website.


Interview with Shannon Polson, author of North of Hope

north of hopeShannon Polson, author of North of Hope, caught my eye after seeing Bookmagnet talking about North of Hope. Bookmagnet hosted a giveaway- and then through the power of social media- Shannon and I began chatting- and that is how you, my readers of Traveling With T, are getting to read all about Shannon!


Interview with Shannon Polson

Shannon- the inspiration for North of Hope came from a terrible accident that happened to your family and the grief you felt afterward.  For some, writing is a way to think and reflect. Was this how North of Hope was for you?

In some ways yes, but I’d be quick to differentiate writing memoir from the therapeutic writing that journaling or letter writing provides. When I decided to write North of Hope, it was a concerted formal effort. I think when people consider writing as catharsis, they are referring more to journaling and letter writing, both of which I did and found really helpful. Writing North of Hope, though, was a completely different ball game.

Remembering your family, going on the same trip your family went on before the accident- did anyone try to talk you out of doing this? Or did your loved ones understand why you had to do this?

I think people have known for a long time I’m hard to talk out of anything! They did have concerns, and as a result we took a number of precautions that would likely be considered redundant to allay their concerns.

North of Hope is a non-fiction/memoir book. Have you always wanted to write non-fiction/memoir books? Or was this particular story so compelling you felt you needed to write North of Hope?

This was a story I felt I needed to write, that needed to be written. In one sense, I needed to make something beautiful out of tragic circumstances– to see if I could do it by shaping an honest narrative. I am constantly learning what it is that made writing North of Hope important to me. Recently I’ve reflected that memoir is a genre of connection, and that it’s important (for me) to find a way to tell a story of hope after tragedy because it’s something we all face one day in one form or another individually and collectively. Joan Didion said that “we tell stories in order to live,” and after these events in my life I’m more convinced than ever that we choose our own story given a set of circumstances. We don’t have a choice about living in a story, but we do have a choice about what that story will be.

I’ve thought about whether I could have written the book as a novel, and that didn’t make sense this time around. The themes, though, of adventure, grief, loss, family, love, music, and faith are big ones in my life that are likely to recur no matter what genre I write in.


Any idea as to what the next book will be about, Shannon?  Will there be a next book?

Absolutely! With two very small children right now, I’m likely to focus on shorter form for a little while. In the meantime, I’m working on a couple of ideas that will be ongoing until I figure out which will wrestle it’s way to the surface to complete first. One is straight nonfiction about a particularly fascinating moment in aviation history. Another is a novel. And a third might be some kind of a multi-genre consideration of my time in the military.


*Special thanks to Shannon Polson for agreeing to be interviewed!


shannon p twitter Shannon Polson, author of North of Hope, can be found on major social media sites- Facebook and Twitter. She also has a website. Check back on Friday to find out more about Shannon- authors she likes and books that are on her To Be Read List!