Thirty-nine years ago, Mount Saint Helens grew tired of sitting silent and blew its top. One year ago, Jon Gosch released a novel titled “Deep Fire Rise” and the book has been generating plenty of noise in its own right.
“Deep Fire Rise” is a fiction work set in the morning shadow of Mount St. Helens during the months and moments leading up to, and immediately after, the infamous eruption. Gosch, who grew up in Longview and was raised traipsing the backwoods of the Cascade mountains, drew on his moss-backed experiences in Southwest Washington in order to paint a vivid picture of a particular time and place.
Since its release, the literary effort has drawn rave reviews from readers and critics alike, and this year the book was selected by the Western Writers of America as a finalist for Best Contemporary Novel at the annual Spur Awards. While “Deep Fire Rise” did not wind up with top honors this spring, the book continues to resonate with readers who harbor an intimate knowledge of volcano country, as well as those who are just getting to know it for the first time.
After rejections by dozens of literary agencies, I published my novel Deep Fire Rise with Latah Books — a small publishing house in Spokane, Washington. Now, Deep Fire Rise has been chosen as one of three Spur Finalists for Best Western Contemporary Novel by the Western Writers of America. It may not be a Pulitzer, but it sure is sweet to be recognized for something that I put my heart and soul into.
Thank you to the Spur Award committee for their nomination, and to the WWA organization for honoring the best of the west!
On July 14th, my discussion about elk hoof disease with John Kruse, host of Northwestern Outdoors Radio, will replay on 60+ stations throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Originally airing last fall, the segment was recently awarded first place in the conservation/nature category by the Outdoor Writers Association of America. The national organization met in June for its 91st annual conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Thanks again to John Kruse for tracking this important issue. Your listeners are lucky to have such a strong outdoors advocate.
Join me at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 22nd at the Longview Public Library for a reading from my new novel, Deep Fire Rise. From 3:30-5 p.m. the same day, I will be conducting a writing workshop open to the public at Lower Columbia College.
COUGAR — For every one hundred authors who rack their brains and snap their pencils as they make doomed attempts to plot the perfect setting for their fledgling stories, there is one Jon Gosch.
Gosch, who was raised in Longview, needed only to peer eastward out the window of his childhood home in order to recognize the prospects of southwest Washington’s definitive motif that has a sneaky habit of hiding in plain sight — Mount St. Helens.
Gosch’s most recent literary creation is a novel titled “Deep Fire Rise.” Gosch’s second published book, is set in the morning shadow of Mount St. Helens back in 1980 during the months that bookended the mountain’s most famous eruption. As such, the book’s official publication date has been set for Friday, in order to coincide with the 38th anniversary of that momentous blowout.