January 7, 2014
Most 12-year-olds spend their summer vacations riding their bike, swimming and trying not to think about school, but Sammamish resident Jacqueline O’Hara sat with her computer and wrote.
During her 2012 summer break, O’Hara authored several small stories, which she began piecing together into a bigger novel. Eighteen months later, the results are available for everyone to read. Tate Publishing picked up O’Hara’s story, “When Circles End,” and released it Dec. 31.
“It was just kind of a way to stay ready for school when summer ended,” the now 14-year-old O’Hara said of writing the novel.
December 25, 2012
Entertainment came to Issaquah in some surprising forms throughout 2012.
Besides the usual retinue on the page, stage and screen, a documentary peeled back the layers at Costco and big-name authors signed books for local readers.
The city hosted celebrities, spotlighted residents on the national stage and celebrated big debuts in recent months. The boldface names earned cred through stints on reality TV, titles on bestseller lists and hardware aplenty — a Tony Award, a National Book Award.
Reality TV plugs in local contestants
Lindzi Cox pursued “The Bachelor” and Lizzie Parker competed for the title “Fashion Star” as local women added grace to reality TV contests.
Cox, a 2003 Liberty High School grad, competed against 24 other bachelorettes to win a rose from the titular bachelor, Ben Flajnik, and reached the final round on the ABC dating game.
March 27, 2012
Movie: ‘The Hunger Games’
Suzanne Collins’ first novel in the three-book series debuted on the silver screen March 23, starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark. The movie takes place in a futuristic North America, where society is divided into 12 districts governed by the Capitol, a sadistic government that annually forces two teens from each district to fight to the death in the Hunger Games. The film brews with romance, action and the struggle of Katniss as she is faced with a brutal decision: kill or be killed.
Book: ‘When the de la Cruz Family Danced’
By Donna Miscolta Donna Miscolta’s debut, “When the de la Cruz Family Danced,” spans several decades and experiences as Johnny de la Cruz faces the consequences of one impetuous encounter from years past. He is confronted by the now-grown son of his ex-lover and the already tumultuous relationship between him, his wife and three daughters is strained as Winston Piña installs himself among the de la Cruzes. The concept of family, the trials of a man caught between two worlds and the delicate subtleties of love are brought into question in Miscolta’s story. This is a lazy day, feel-good book.
March 20, 2012
Library hosts events to celebrate bestselling book series’ film debut
Imagine “The Hunger Games” is a mishmash of “Survivor” and “The X Factor” set in a “Lord of the Flies”-style arena.
The film based on the mega-popular novel debuts on the big screen March 23 and to celebrate, the bustling Issaquah Library is hosting a party and a discussion March 28. Organizers said participants can join activities inspired by the book — although nothing as dangerous as the titular games — and nab prizes inspired by the book and the film.
Other activities planned for the library party include flora and fauna identification stations — key skills for characters in the book and film.
December 27, 2011
“The Hunger Games” — Suzanne Collins’ young adult novel set in a dystopian future — ranked as the top title requested throughout the King County Library System in 2011.
The top titles requested throughout local libraries mirror bestseller lists and offer a glimpse at readers’ tastes. “The Hunger Games” — No. 1 in a popular series about a post-apocalyptic world — and other books in Collins’ lineup jousted against titles from authors Rick Riordan and Laura Hillenbrand, and comedienne Tina Fey, for the top spot.
King County Library System librarians tracked the most-requested titles by determining the number of holds on a particular book. The number indicates readers’ most likely checked out the book, although the figure is not a precise count.
The system does not release the information for individual libraries due to confidentiality policies.
May 24, 2011
In a former life, before she began writing pieces that caught the attention of Hollywood, Sarah Gerdes ran a technology consulting business.
As a girl, Gerdes lived in Costa Rica and later Honduras, the fourth of six children. After high school, she established her reputation at a technology company in San Francisco and soon founded her own firm, working with clients including Microsoft, Sony, American Express and IBM.
Though a busy businesswoman and mother of three, Gerdes constantly returned to writing, her first love. She penned her first novella at age 13, and when she seriously returned to writing as an adult, she wrote about business, finishing the books “Navigating the Partnership Maze” and “The Overlooked Expert,” in addition to a children’s book she wrote for her son.
When her second pregnancy put her on bed rest, she had to downsize her company. Left with nothing to do but wait for the birth of her son, she began writing about a topic that grabbed the attention of Los Angeles producer Lucas Foster.