More than 42% of American families have at least one step-relative. That’s according to a 2011 Pew Research Center survey. Dmae Roberts talks with Portland writer and anthology editor Samantha WaltzÂ who exploresÂ what it means to be a stepfamily from many different perspectives in her book Â Blended: Writers on the Stepfamily Experience,Â a collection of stories from writers from Portland and throughout the country. We’ll talk with Waltz and Portland writer and contributor Jessica Page Morrell.
(Aired Â 11am Tues 11/17 on KBOO.fm and StageNStudio.com.)
Blended: Writers on the Stepfamily Experience (Seal Press / May 2015 / $16.00) edited by Samantha Waltz,Â explores stepfamilies through the perspectives of thirty stepparents and stepchildren.
The book includesÂ foreword by Ariel Gore and many OregonÂ contributors including Morrell, Jennifer Margulis, Gigi Rosenberg, Kerry Cohen, Melissa Hart, Cynthia Whitcomb, Deb Stone, Sallie Wagner Brown, Sue Sanders, Melissa Springer Mock, and writers from around the country. The stories ofÂ BlendedÂ looks at what it means to be a stepparent or a stepchild from gifted writers telling their own personal stories.
Samantha Waltz sold her first story at age eleven to a local newspaper. Her next stories appeared in American Girl, and she later worked as a guest editor and assistant editor for Mademoiselle. Excellent parenting has long been her passion.
She has taught all ages from parent-toddler classes to workshops for adults, and worked as a family therapist. Her books include Parenting: Four Patterns In Childrearing, Parenting Gifted Children, and Gifted Child: Master Piece in the Making under the name Samellyn Wood. She has over sixty personal essays in anthologies and has received awards for her nonfiction writing from the Oregon Writers Colony, Willamette Writers, Writers’ Digest and Redbook. In early May of this year Seal Press released an anthology she compiled and edited, Blended: Writers On The Stepfamily Experience. Her busy world includes five adult stepchildren and twelve step-grandchildren. More at her site:Â http://www.pathsofthought.com/
Jessica Page Morrell understands both sides of the editorial deskâ€“as an editor and author. She writes with depth, wit and clarity on topics related to writing and creativity along with other topics and is the author of Thanks, But This Isnâ€™t For Us, A (Sort of) Compassionate Guide to Why Your Writing is Being Rejected; Bullies, Bastards & Bitches, How to Write the Bad Guys in Fiction; The Writerâ€™s I Ching: Wisdom for the Creative Life; Voices from the Street; Between the Lines: Master The Subtle Elements Of Fiction Writing; and Writing Out the Storm. Her forthcoming books are No Ordinary Days: The Seasons, Cycles and Elements of the Writing Life and White Heat: Zero to Novel in 90 days. Her work also appears in eight anthologies and The Writer and Writerâ€™s Digest magazines. Morrell founded and coordinates three writing conferences, has been creating columns about the writing life since 1998, and is a popular speaker at writersâ€™ conferences throughout the world. FollowÂ her thoughts on the craft of writing:Â http://jessicamorrell.com/.
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