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Portland author to visit St. Helens library

Author Cathy Lamb visits as part of NaNoWriMo

In anticipation of National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, in November, the St. Helens Public Library will hold a meet-and-greet with a Portland author on Thursday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m.

Writer Cathy Lamb will speak with attendees about her own writing process, including her personally mandated weekly word counts, her journaling process, and her development of character sketches.

Each year, before the start of November, the library organizers try to organize an event that will get the public interested in NaNoWriMo by hosting an author.

NaNoWriMo is a month-long event where individuals commit to writing a novel of 50,000 words and track their progress alongside other participants.

Becky Bean, a library employee who also serves as the volunteer municipal liaison for NaNoWriMo for the Columbia County region, helped organize the visit.

“The goal is to try and find a published author who knows the ins and outs for aspiring authors,” Bean said.

Lamb, an author of women’s fiction, has written six published short stories, nine novels and is the process of writing her 10th. She has been to many writers workshops at public libraries, bookstores, conferences and even some parent groups, experiences that appealed to Bean.

“I love talking to writers and I love helping writers,” Lamb said. “If I have any advice that would help them, even a little bit, I am delighted.”

Lamb lives in Portland and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Oregon. She taught for eight years in the Beaverton School District before devoting herself full-time to writing. A self-proclaimed night owl, Lamb said she does her best writing late at night.

Last year, close to 35 people in the St. Helens area particpated in NaNoWriMo. The word count produced by the group at the end of the month was the ninth highest in the nation, according to Bean.

“I absolutely love the whole idea of ‘write a book in a month,’” Lamb said. “I would encourage everyone who wants to write to give that a shot.”

In addition to the meet-and-greet, the St. Helens Public Library will host a NaNoWriMo kick-off event on Thursday Oct. 29, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m with local author Ken Scholes. Lamb will also have books for sale and will be signing autographs on Thursday.