Diversity in Literature
Beth Kanell
March 12th, 2011
Saturday March 12th, 2011
from 7p to 10p

Diversity in Literature
Featuring:
Beth Kanell

Well Read Bookstore
425 Lafayette Avenue
Hawthorne, NJ 07506

This group meets on the second Saturday of each month and
spotlights guest speakers from SF and genre related fields of
interest.

This month we welcome Beth Kanell who will discuss the ins
and outs of diversity in publishing, addressing issues such as
race, gender, religion, and all the things that make give us
such a broad spectrum of characters in real life and in
literature.

Beth Kannell:
Beth Kannell Lives in Vermont with a mountain behind her
and a river at her feet.  Her works include
The Darkness
Under the Water, The Hungry Place, The Long Shadow,
and
many poems and works of non-fiction.
Face the  Fiction Presents:
The Diversity Panel 03/11/2011

Weather and illness kept part of our panel from arriving
(they will be rescheduled soon), leaving Beth Kanell - coming
to us all the way from Vermont - to entertain us.  Ms. Kanell
was a treat!  We really had a hard time letting her go home.  
Please visit her website to find out about this wonderful
lady:  http://www.bethkanell.com/.

Beth spoke at length about her book, The Darkness Under
the Water and how it came to be.  She told us about her
upcoming books The Hungry Place (an investigative
adventure), The Long Shadow (a story set during
Underground Railroad days) and Cold Midnight (1921 murder
mystery).  

Beth had an attentive audience as she read excerpts from
her work and answered any and all questions thrown her
way.  The entire time Ms. Kanell was talking to us, she would
tell us little personal tidbits that were charming and funny
(her husband and the humming was too cute).  It was these
little asides that gave you insight into the strong emotions
Beth puts into her writing.  
Beth uses historical facts in such a thought-provoking way
you can't help but be drawn in.  She not only writes about
issues she feels strongly about, she is active in Vermont on
issues she champions (i.e preservation).

Beth's research for her books provided some interesting
stories - one of my favorites was a detailed account of how a
town was moved/relocated so the area could be flooded to
become a lake.  Nothing was left, all hazardous materials
(underground gas tanks, etc.)  - gone, buildings - usable
parts were recycled and reused.  In other words - nothing
was left.  A group of school children were being told the
story of the history of the town and having it patiently
explained to them how things happened.  
Beth asked if they all understood how everything was
moved - they respond yes.  Only to have that one kid in the
group claim to be on a boat fishing and swear he looked
over the side of the boat and saw the town (at this Beth
raises her hand excitedly like a young child..ooo, ooo, I saw
the town..and the whole group flocks around him for
details)!  Too funny.

A delightful evening with a delightful guest.  Thank you Beth!
(write-up by Ann-Marie Brown)

I really loved Beth's anecdote about ice diving, she had us in
stitches pretty much the entire way through.  Before the
meeting I apologized to her and said, we are a pretty
rambunctious crowd, and her only response was, "Oh,
really?  I guess I will have to tell more rowdy anecdotes,
then."

Another nice thing about Beth is that she told some more
unusual stories of how to get oneself published.  In her case,
instead of looking for an agent to represent her directly, she
instead found a book that she liked, whose author had
thanked their agent, then went to the author's book signing
and asked him to please introduce her to his agent.

I was also really impressed by Beth's energy.  She adapted
quite well, and was very quick with smart answers to our
questions.  There was never a dull moment as we laughed
our way through the evening.  We even got a preview of the
new work of speculative fiction that Beth was working on!  It
was a pretty awesome evening, and more thanks go to Bill
and Maryanne Skees for being such wonderful hosts, and AM
and Jo for coordinating all the things that went into making
the evening a success. (write-up by Todd Ehrenfels)

Our heartfelt thanks to Ms. Kanell for traveling all the way
from Vermont and being brave enough to go on with the
panel after being the only member to arrive! She gave a
splendid overview of herself and her work and treated us to
wonderful readings of her writing. From her presentation, we
really got to know her genuine motivation to speak to the
issue of the intent of Vermont's scientists and lawmakers in
the 1930s and how important that issue is and was.
(write-up by Gene McGrath)