Be jealous of Matt Love. Be very, very jealous.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Matt Love will discuss his new novel and his passion for retaining Oregon's publicly owned beaches in his presentation at the Ledding Cultural Forum on March 3 at the Pond House in Milwaukie.On March 3, Love will speak at the Ledding Cultural Forum about his new novel “The Great Birthright: An Oregon Novel,” which is about the beaches in Oregon. So he undoubtedly spent time studying those beaches.

And he has a spoken-word CD coming out that is a compilation of his favorite dive-bar pieces, so he must have had to drink a bit of beer to do that research.

Beaches and beer — it’s a tough life for an author.

Fun with a serious subject

But seriously, “The Great Birthright: An Oregon Novel” is “about the sacrosanct great notion of Oregon’s publicly owned beaches,” which Love has been writing about for years. But with this book, he said, “he wanted to take a new run at the subject and have a little fun with it.”

Also, Love said, he wrote the novel “as a warning to all Oregonians that the fight to protect our beaches from privatization and prudery is never over.”

This book marks Love’s debut as a fiction writer and in it he chose to “bend and twist the detective novel genre.”

In the novel, a Los Angles developer is “trying to privatize Oregon’s publicly owned beaches, its vaunted ‘great birthright,’ and only one washed-up detective and self-published writer can stop him. I’m the writer and teacher in the story, and it was fun to write about myself in the third person,” Love said.

“It was a challenge to integrate all the historical facts about the famous 1967 Beach Bill and still make the narrative compelling. I will say, this book is now the definitive historical record of passage of the Beach Bill, and I’m proud of that,” he said.

50th anniversary of bill

A telling moment in the novel occurs at the end when Oregonians rise up to fight the evil forces of privatization.

Love hopes the book inspires people to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beach Bill on July 7, 2017.

“I want everyone who has ever enjoyed a moment on Oregon’s free beaches to come out for this. It’s going to be a party,” he said.

As for who should read the book and attend the Cultural Forum, Love said that should be “anyone who cares about this state’s legacy of publicly owned beaches or should care — meaning everyone. A lot of newcomers to Oregon have no idea of the legacy, and that’s scary to me.”

‘Gigging’ and dive bars

Love has another new book coming out in the fall, about the experience of “gigging” his books all over Oregon the past 13 years. It is called “The Gigging Life: Lessons Learned on the Literary Road.” And he also has that spoken-word CD on the horizon: “Oregon Tavern Age.”

Love said he will read from “The Great Birthright: An Oregon Novel” and answer questions at the cultural forum. He added, “I look forward to returning to the Pond House. It’s one of the best literary-series venues in Oregon, and I hope people will turn out and join me in celebrating Oregon’s special legacy of publicly owned beaches.”

New book

What: The Ledding Cultural Forum presents Matt Love, discussing his book “The Great Birthright: An Oregon Novel.”

When: 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 3

Where: The Pond House, 2215 S.E. Harrison St., Milwaukie

Cost: Free

Details: Matt Love grew up in Oregon City and is a lifelong educator and publisher of Nestucca Spit Press. He’s the author/editor of more than 14 books about Oregon, including his Beaver State and Newport trilogies. In 2009, Love won the Oregon Literary Arts’ Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award for his contributions to Oregon history and literature. He lives in Astoria; to learn more, visit This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Coming up: Lidia Yuknavitch, author of “The Small Backs of Children,” will speak at the forum on April 7.

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