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Sparling awarded Oregon artist fellowship


by: FILE PHOTO - Scott SparlingThe recognition continues to come to novelist Scott Sparling, even as the calendar turns to 2013.

The Oregon Arts Commission announced in December that the Lake Oswego author is one of the 2013 Individual Artist Fellowship recipients, an honor which includes the award of a $3,000 fellowship.

In making the announcement, the commission stated it was looking for Oregon artists of outstanding talent, demonstrated ability and commitment to the creation of new work.

Sparling achieved this with his first novel, “Wire to Wire,” a freewheeling tale based on his own life, which critics compared to being on a train with no brakes.

“I am honored to get this,” Sparling said. “There are so many great writers in Oregon. I feel very lucky. It’s a great surprise.”

Above everything else, the success of his first novel has inspired Sparling to write more novels, and he is back in the tree house in his backyard, where he wrote much of “Wire to Wire.”

“I hope to finish it early in 2013,” Sparling said. “It has some of the same themes as ‘Wire to Wire,’ such as how money affects all of us. It’s set in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest and it deals with the Occupy movement. It emphasizes how you really need to be true to your values in today’s world, although it’s more complicated than that.”

While Sparling basks in success, he is also soaking in inspiration from all kinds of sources.

“There’s a terrific book by Joyce Thompson, one of my former teachers,” Sparling said. “It really, really makes me want to write, and it sets the bar higher.”

Also, “The freshman writers at the University of St. Paul inspired me to focus on what I love about writing.”

Sparling is so excited about his current work that it will help him forget about shivering while he writes.

“It’s back to the tree house,” he said. “Even though it’s cold out there.”