December 4, 2014

The Duke and Miss Jane Austen



In the summer of 1980, through a combination of chutzpah and luck, I snagged a job as a college lecturer on an American travel/study program in England. This sounds more impressive than it actually was. The course was a two-week adventure, far more “travel” than “study,” with no required reading or papers and an emphasis on field trips. I was only 24 at the time, barely out of college myself, but I had enthusiasm and pluck and a natural knack for leading tours, so in that sense—if not academically—I was qualified for the job. I mention this only to explain how it was that long ago, on a sunny morning in August, I herded a flock of Americans onto a rural English bus and through the green Hampshire countryside to Jane Austen’s cottage at Chawton. (more…)

April 15, 2014

Stepping Away



It turns out I’m lousy at blogging. Perhaps I was simply born too late—old dog, new tricks—but I never really developed the knack for banging out short, breezy blog posts over my morning mug of tea. I get distracted by bothersome things like double-checking my research and making sure my words and ideas amount to something worth reading. My quirky little history blog has been a grand writing experiment. But it’s time to step away. (more…)

February 18, 2014

Upcoming Author Events

Monday, March 10 at Noon

The Coach House at the State Capital Museum (211-21st Ave SW, Olympia)

Olympia author Heather Lockman reads from and chats about her Northwest e-novel The Indian Shirt Story—a tale of integrity, celebrity, salmon, and beer set in a fictional (but very familiar) town in South Puget Sound.


Wednesday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Olympia Timberland Library (313–8th Ave SE, Olympia)

Author Heather Lockman reads from and chats about her novel, but promises to say different things than she did in March.





 Heather Lockman’s The Indian Shirt Story, an irresistible novel from the Pacific Northwest, is now available as an ebook from Amazon, Musa Publishing, and most other ebook stores.



December 20, 2013

A Modest Suggestion


Know anyone getting a tablet or ebook reader for Christmas? Woody (adorably pictured above) has two helpful ideas for spreading bookish good cheer:


1) The Indian Shirt Story makes a great quick, inexpensive gift for readers of all sorts. Really. Buy it on Amazon and have it delivered through cyberspace—whoosh!—just like that.


October 23, 2013

The Omnivore Interview

I’m on the British book review site The Omnivore today.

The Omnivore Interview

August 13, 2013

Ebooks and Real Books

“I don’t read ebooks,” my neighbor says. She’s a 60-something professional, educated and widely read—exactly the sort of reader who’d enjoy a sweet, funny, slightly provocative novel set in the Pacific Northwest. A novel, say, like the one I wrote. A novel that hits the street this month from a small independent publishing house that publishes only ebooks.

I know. A real book has paper pages. “I want it to feel like a book,” she insists. “One I can read in the bathtub.” After staring at a computer screen all day at the office, she doesn’t want to spend her free time reading a screen at home.

A Northwest book reviewer gave me the same answer. “I’m still mired in the Dark Ages, I guess,” she replied to my email inquiry. “Just can’t bear to spend any more screen time each day than I already do, so I stick to printed-on-paper books. I have become painfully aware this is depriving me of many excellent works, but the e-medium, unfortunately, is not one I can embrace.”

Since Amazon introduced the Kindle in 2007, the number of people who purchase ebooks has zoomed to somewhere around 25 percent of the book-buying population. Ebooks are the fastest growing segment of the publishing industry—but you don’t have to be a math whiz to grasp that the majority of readers have yet to welcome the change. (more…)