Hollywood debut awaits local author

August 2, 2011

Storyteller Sarah Gerdes is force behind upcoming films

By Greg Farrar Lucas Foster, Hollywood producer (left), and Sarah Gerdes, local author, discuss their collaboration as they prepare to transform her books into films.

Sarah Gerdes, author and mother to Conor, Porsche and Mercedes, balances motherhood and Hollywood.

The longtime local author is nearing a milestone in a lifelong effort to tell stories to the masses: films based on the books she spent years to create.

The lineup includes “The Kim Sisters” — a musical about a trio transplanted from Korea and hurtling to success in the United States — and adventures based on “Chambers” — a series about time-traveling teenagers. The initial e-book in the “Chambers” series came out in May.

“I am truly excited to see it come to film — and it’s not because of any financial gain, although that would be nice, not to be a starving author forever,” Gerdes said late last month. “It’s because I can’t wait to see it through somebody else’s eyes. I’ve written this work that has all of these characters. I have a theme and I know where it’s going.”

Lucas Foster — the producer behind “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and other action-packed films — refers to Gerdes as “the Terminator” for the perseverance and passion she delivers on each project. Foster’s Warp Entertainment is producing “The Kim Sisters” and “Chambers” films.

“The amount of money we spend to make a movie, and then market and distribute a movie, is colossal. So, we have to do some thinking about who our audience is very early on and who we’re trying to reach,” he said. “Are we capable of reaching them with whatever it is we’re building? I think Sarah — she doesn’t have to think that way — but I think she’s inclined to think that way as well.”

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Posters encourage residents to read

February 22, 2011

With hectic lives filled with chores, errands, work and school, who has time to sit down and read a good book?

Aware of the constant time crunch, the King County Library System developed a time coupon through its Take Time to Read program.

“Chores can wait,” the coupon reads, “Take Time to Read.”

“I flash that one at my family and say, ‘The dishes are going to be there 10 minutes from now,’” Issaquah Library Site Manager Philis Bodle said. “You don’t need a great big block of time to read — five minutes here, 10 minutes there.”

The reading coupons are only one facet of Take Time to Read. It also includes the Winter Reading for Adults program, in which adults 18 or older can tell the library how they took time to read and win prizes for their submissions.

Enter the contest before March 31 at www.kcls.org/taketimetoread for the chance to win gift cards to local stores, including Starbucks, Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria, Barnes & Noble and University Book Store.

Participants can also enter on Facebook by searching for Take Time to Read.

“The kids have all the fun in the summer, so we thought, ‘Let’s let adults have some fun, too,’” library system public relations specialist Marsha Iverson said.

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Local teen sets sight on world record

November 16, 2010

Crab-walking is not a usual pastime for a teenage boy, but Cameron Jones is no ordinary teenage boy. He has been fascinated by Guinness World Records his whole life and has spent years attempting to break many of them. His current mission? Crab-walking 10 meters in less than seven seconds.

“The best that I can remember is going to Barnes & Noble and getting a Guinness World Records book,” Cameron said, when asked when his interest in world records began. “I was skimming through it and I realized, ‘Hey, I could beat some of these.’ From then on, it pretty much became a passionate hobby of mine. Read more

Issaquah dentist gives back to vets

November 9, 2010

You’d think that when American veterans return from active duty, dental care would be an automatic benefit. However, you’d be wrong.

Only veterans deemed “completely service-disabled” are covered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and that is for only certain types of dental work, according to Issaquah dentist Theresa Cheng. That means most veterans don’t get seen by dentists — and it goes for their caretakers and family as well. Read more

Furniture store relocates, new businesses open

May 11, 2010

Leathers Home Furnishings & Accessories, the longtime Northwest Gilman Boulevard furniture store, will soon relocate to the former Linens-N-Things storefront in Pickering Place.

Owner Mitch Setlow said he plans to open the new Leathers by May 15 and, for the next several weeks, run a closeout sale from both the Pickering Place and Gilman Square locations. Setlow plans to close the original Leathers in June.

“We’re not going, we’re growing,” he said.

The store will depart the 8,000-square-foot Gilman Square location after 14 years for the 37,500-square-foot Linens-N-Things space. Linens-N-Things closed after liquidators shut down the bankrupt chain in late 2008.

Leathers, as the name implies, offers high-end leather furniture. Setlow said the store also plans to offer mattresses and bedroom furniture, dining room pieces and additional accessories in the larger space.

The store planted a red-and-black balloon on the store roof to announce the closure. Expect to see the balloon on the roof at Pickering Place, too, as the relocated Leathers welcomes shoppers.

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Police arrest man for attempting to lure boy

April 13, 2010

Issaquah Police arrested a 19-year-old Issaquah man April 10 after police said he tried to lure a boy into a bookstore restroom.

Police said the man had acted inappropriately near the 11-year-old boy at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 1530 11th Ave. N.W. Barnes & Noble employees said the suspect had been escorted from the store twice, but remained on the walkway outside.

Officers determined the man had twice attempted to lure the boy into the store restroom. Police said the man might have been waiting outside the store for the boy to exit. Deputy Police Chief Steve Cozart said the man had passed notes to the boy. The boy or his father then reported the activity to store employees. Officers arrived at about 9:45 p.m.

Officers arrived as the boy and his father left the store. Cozart said officers then interviewed the boy and his father.

Police located the suspect outside as his family members continued to shop inside the store.

Police booked the man into the King County Jail for child luring and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

Local man arrested for child luring

April 11, 2010

NEW — 7:34 p.m. April 11, 2010

A 19-year-old Issaquah man was arrested for trying to lure an 11-year-old boy into the restroom at the Barnes and Noble bookstore Saturday night, police said.

At about 9:46 p.m., Issaquah officers were called to the store, where employees reported a young adult had been acting inappropriately around a minor child in the store. Store employees reported the suspect was twice escorted out of the store, but remained on the walkway in front of the store.

Officers arrived as the boy and his father exited the store. Officers determined the suspect had twice attempted to lure the boy into the public restroom in the store and may have been waiting outside the store for the boy to exit.

The suspect was located outside the store as his family members were still shopping inside the store. He was taken into custody and subsequently booked into the King County Jail for child luring and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

Find a new Harry Potter adventure with locally penned book

July 21, 2009

author-villaluz-20090700If walking through walls in a London train station or battling an evil wizard wasn’t enough for you, then you might be interested in traveling through J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series again — but this time, with some help.

Local first-time author Nancy Solon Villaluz is hoping you’ll let her be your guide through your next read with “Does Harry Potter Tickle Sleeping Dragons?”

In three new books, designed as a literary commentary on the “Harry Potter” series, Villaluz explores the depths of Rowling’s series and hidden critical elements she thinks “Harry Potter” fans should know.

“This ‘Harry Potter’ commentary is meant, like Harry, to challenge the reader to walk through what appears to be a wall into belief in what they can’t see and to walk in love when things get hard,” she said, of Rowling’s deeper plot. “That message is always relevant and necessary in society, and Rowling tackles it in spades.”

Villaluz said she couldn’t be happier to see more than five years of researching and writing come to fruition.

Local author Nancy Solon Villaluz wrote a companion guide to the popular ‘Harry Potter’ series. By Greg Farrar

Local author Nancy Solon Villaluz wrote a companion guide to the popular ‘Harry Potter’ series. By Greg Farrar

“To me, this is a pursuit of passion,” she said. “My journey of discovery delighted me and my book is written as a journey of delight for readers who want to know more about J.K. Rowling and Harry.”

Like some people, Villaluz admitted she was a “Harry Potter” avoider when the books took the world by storm, partly because she was a busy mother of two and partly because she believed the book series was filled with dark messages, she said. Read more

Duo self-publish guestbook to record ‘Happenings’

March 9, 2009

Rebecca Byus (left) and Kristi Gage display their self-published book ‘Happenings: A Guest Book of Sorts.’  Contributed

Rebecca Byus (left) and Kristi Gage display their self-published book ‘Happenings: A Guest Book of Sorts.’ Contributed

Kristi Gage and Rebecca Byus don’t so much consider themselves as authors as they are publishers. That’s because their book, “Happenings: A Guest Book of Sorts,” has but one page of type with the rest containing a distinct lack of content. And that’s just the way they intended it.

“Our inspiration was to make something from our shared passion,” said Gage, a mother of two who runs her own business from her Issaquah home.

“We wanted to make a journal for the home, where guests could leave written comments from events, that you could leave on the coffee table as an elegant keepsake,” said Byus, also a mother of two who runs her own financial planning business. Read more

Local libraries are booming

February 24, 2009

At the far end of a reference aisle  of books (above), a resident uses a computer at the Issaquah Library. Dan Hatch, of Klahanie, reads about how to beef up his résumé, rather than buying the books new at a book store. By David Hayes

At the far end of a reference aisle of books (above), a resident uses a computer at the Issaquah Library. Dan Hatch, of Klahanie, reads about how to beef up his résumé, rather than buying the books new at a book store. By David Hayes

On a recent sunny afternoon, Diana Tam, of Sammamish, was browsing the DVD aisle with her children, Jayci, 17 months, and Malia, 4, on their first trip to the Issaquah Library.

“It’s been a while since I’ve gone to the library,” said the 33-year-old mother. “It’s kinda nice to bring the kids back. Plus, the library’s selection is awesome. It helps when you’ve got to pinch pennies any way to you can these days.” Read more