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Dear Jim Ure: I understand you have a novel that won first prize in the Utah Arts Council’s 2011 competition. What is it about and when will it be published? I’ve followed you since LEAVING THE FOLD:CANDID CONVERSATIONS WITH INACTIVE MORMONS
Hi, Clark. Sorry it’s taken so long to reply. I appreciate your interest in my work. I’ll bring you up-to-date. SKYWRITING is now titled THE EDITOR’S WOMAN and it is in the hands of my agent along with two other books, SULA EATS THE SEA, a work of fiction for young adults as well as older readers, and POLIO BOYS, a memoir of Jim Ure growing up with a father who was a victim of polio. The latter book deals with the complications this created for relationships in the family. POLIO BOYS was originally scheduled to have been published in February, 2013, by Signature Books, who published LEAVING THE FOLD; CANDID CONVERSATIONS WITH INACTIVE MORMONS. I consulted with my agent. The bottom line is that Signature and I agreed not to go ahead with them. So eventually POLIO BOYS will find a home elsewhere.
I am self publishing two books in the next 60 days. They will be cross-marketed through Amazon and other outlets and they are both targeted to the fly-fisherman market. One is a novel titled THE LAUGHING TROUT (about 60,00 words) and subtitled “A Novel of Fly Fishing in a Mad, Mad Word of Love and Pandemonium.” It makes me laugh every time I re-read it. The other book is only 78 pages and is a self-help book about how to apply fly-fishing techniques to making sales in business. It is titled FLY FISHING FOR SALES; If You Can Sell Sharp Steel Hooks To Fish You Can Make Big Money in Sales. A New Way of Looking at the Customers and Clients You Serve.” (Whew).
THE EDITOR’S WOMAN (formerly SKYWRITING) is the first my “Newspaper Quartet.” It runs about 80,000 words. The second in that series is titled THE PUBLISHER’S MAN. The third is CREATURES IN FLIGHT. The second needs some more editing and the third needs completing. The fourth is still in note form, although the first 40 pages are roughly down. The novels follow the clash over religion between two Salt Lake City daily newspapers, beginning in 1945. The PUBLISHER’S WOMAN takes up the story in the 1950s. CREATURES IN FLIGHT continues the story in the late 1960s. What I’ve tried to do is examine–in fiction–the nuances of Mormonism that are mostly misunderstood unless you live in Zion. There are so many kinds of Mormons and Mormonism, including the clash between actives and inactives. And of course you have the gentiles, to whom many inactives turn, only to be rejected because they are considered Mormons. The permutations are endless, just as are the ways Mormonism is practiced. It may appear monolithic and run top-down, yet the deviations from the “rule” squirt out like mustard in a sandwich squeezed too hard.
Thanks for reading my blog.
Finally, I am outlining a book titled WINTER COP. It’s a dark mystery sequel to THE LAUGHING TROUT. It’s about a fishing guide who gets railroaded into being a law officer for one winter. It is set in a resort community where a major crime is never expected. It is a much different book than it predecessor, but uses the same characters. I don’t expect to publish this for at least a couple of more years.
Thanks, Clark. The book that won the award is called SKYWRITING. Since I think it could have a wide audience, I am trying to have it published traditionally. I am looking for an agent and have several who have requested more material. Here is the query letter that summarizes the novel.
My novel, Skywriting, follows two generations of tough and colorful newspapermen and women during an era in which newspapers influenced the world, big bands were broadcast from home radios, and women were unwilling to relinquish their freedom after WWII. Told in two parts,
Skywriting is based on true events. It won first place in the book-length fiction category of the Utah Arts Council’s 2011 Writing Competition.
Part One: An intrepid greenhorn reporter for the Salt Lake Post, Leni Burke presents her boss with proof of a scandal that will strike a dagger into the heart of the Mormon Church. It isn’t long before the story ignites sparks, not only in the community but in Leni’s bedroom as well. Her editor Denis Cannon begs Leni to marry him, and much as she longs for happiness, she simply can’t be his wife. Like so many people in Salt Lake City, she has secrets—including a stint in the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots and an abandoned husband. Reluctantly, Leni agrees to tell Denis her story, and the two rent a plane and fly off, never to be seen again.
Part Two: In the wake of Leni and Denis’s disappearance, Deedee Darrah finds herself at the helm of the Post, dealing with newspaper wars and the storm caused by Leni’s Mormon Church exposé.
When Deedee discovers that her father-in-law, a high-ranking member of the Church, has sexually abused her son, she knows that law enforcement will brush the crime under the carpet. But she vows to fight for justice, establish the supremacy of her newspaper, and maybe solve the mystery of Leni and Denis’s disappearance, which still sits hard on her heart.
I am the author of three full-length books that were released with larger independent presses,
including Leaving the Fold: Candid Conversation with Inactive Mormons (Signature, 2000), which was written with a National Endowment for the Arts grant. Currently, I own and operate my own marketing and PR firm. I spent many years as a reporter and editor for the Salt Lake Tribune and worked as a publicist and executive director of the Sundance Film Festival. I sometimes write as Jim Ure.
Thanks for your consideration; I can deliver the complete manuscript immediately upon request.
James W. Ure
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