Blurb: Jon Bell

Kristy Athens and Jon Bell, the nonfiction authors on the panel, discuss using their own personal stories in their books.

Jon Bell, right, answers a question at the Brave on the Page night at Powell’s, as Kristy Athens looks on.

Jon Bell is the author of a book on one of Oregon’s most well-known features: Mount Hood. His first book, On Mount Hood: A Biography of Oregon’s Perilous Peak, was published by Sasquatch Books in 2011, and the paperback version launched earlier this year.

When thinking about Oregon writers, writers who get this state, writers who attract people who love to read about this state, Jon seemed a natural choice for a blurb for Stevan Allred’s debut story collection, A Simplified Map of the Real World, which is set in a fictional rural Oregon town.

Jon is a great example of how community grows. I met Matt Love, the quintessential Oregon do-it-yourself publisher, when living at the coast, and Matt published a memoir by Bend resident Kim Cooper Findling, and when I interviewed Kim for Brave on the Page, our 2012 homegrown writing anthology, she told me I should interview Jon Bell.

So I did–by email–and then we met for the first time at the Brave on the Page launch in November 2012, when I asked all the contributors to come up on stage. Jon has since been on our Brave on the Page panel in January at Powell’s, and he was the featured speaker at Writers’ Night at the Springwater Grange, an annual event spearheaded by Stevan Allred. He’s a wonderful full-time freelance writer, with work published in Backpacker, The Oregonian, Oregon Business, the Portland and Puget Sound Business Journals, Home Building News, and the Portland Physician Scribe, among others. And he is at work on his next book.

Today, on his On Mount Hood blog, Jon wrote about how being in Brave on the Page led to new friendships and opportunities.

And here’s what he said about A Simplified Map of the Real World, which launches tomorrow.

“The Northwest town of Renata, the families, the connections between all these characters, their idiosyncrasies and quirks, their tribulations and moments of light, Stevan Allred makes it all very real. He intrigues from the first words and won’t let us put down each story until we know exactly how it’s to turn out.”

– Jon Bell, author of On Mount Hood

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