The 2009 Oregon Book Awards finalists in fiction are:
Miriam Gershow for The Local News. You can read an excerpt of The Local News here. Miriam lives in Eugene, and says her writing schedule "consists of stealing snatches of time" while her baby naps. When asked what inspires her she says, "My aforementioned new infant son. Other people's great writing; Dan Chaon's latest is the most recent to awe me."
Gina Ochsner for The Russian Dreambook of Colour and Flight. You can read a review in the Observer. Gina lives in Keizer and said in a recent interview, "I only write a few times a week and those times tend to be very short in duration—perhaps an hour or shorter." She went on to say, "Likewise, in doing the mundane, daily tasks of washing dishes, stirring the laundry, fishing for the mate to a lonely sock, I am working out with my hands a snarl with a story. The hands complete what my mind cannot."
Barbara Pope for Cezanne's Quarry. You can read an excerpt here. Barbara lives in Eugene and says "I work in hour spurts during the day-and usually at least one at night-whenever I can. Even if I'm not at the computer, the novel is on my mind and doing some of its own work." Barbara says she "wants to tell stories that will have meaning for my readers."
Jon Raymond for Livability. Jon lives in Portland and says "Ideally, morning is writing time. But with a baby in the house, I've started to reassess evenings, too." When asked what inspires him, he says, "The painters Mike Brophy, Storm Tharp, and Chris Johanson; Neil Young; Sherwood Anderson; Saul Bellow; Dennis Johnson; my friends; my family; poplar trees."
Leslie What for Crazy Love. Leslie lives in Eugene and says, "I get to my work and household chores in the morning and save my alert after 2:00 PM brain for writing. What I secretly suspect is that there's a lot of prep work involved in creative pursuits and that even when I'm folding towels or stirring risotto I'm daydreaming or doing some of the work of writing. The people who inspire me are the quiet heroes, people who are struggle daily to make sense of it all."