Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tim Sproul

TIM SPROUL was born and raised in Newport and graduated from Newport High. He received a Bachelor's degree in journalism and a Master's in creative writing, both from the University of Oregon. Sproul now resides in Milwaukie, Oregon, where his day job is creative director at Avenue A/Razorfish International Advertising Agency.

Sproul's formative years took place near Newport's Nye Beach. His father, a career Naval officer, supported the family by spending as much -- if not more -- time deployed at sea as he did at home.

His poem, 66 Days at Sea, captures a perspective that mirrors the childhood experiences of many commercial fishermen's sons and daughters:
With one small suitcase and a half-salute to the wind, my father steps onto the ship's gangplank and out of our lives ... We fall back to who we think we are -- tough beach kids who never go to the beach... I learn the language of loss in our eyes... we suffer this house and its various empties... time doesn't pass, it enters us.

Willy Vlautin

Novelist and musician WILLY VLAUTIN splits his time between writing novels and performing as lead singer-songwriter for the Portland-based urban country music band Richmond Fontaine. He is a native of Reno, Nevada, the backdrop against which he set his novels "The Motel Life," published in 2007, and "Northline," published earlier this year.

"The Motel Life" follows the lot of two brothers whose lives go from bad to abominable when one of them flees a hit and run accident while under the influence. The novel received national recognition as a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice and was named a Top 25 Books of 2007 selection by the Washington Post. The Oregonian named the novel among the 2007 Top Ten Books of the Northwest. Vlautin's second novel, "Northline," is the story of Allison Johnson, a young, pregnant woman who leaves her abusive neo-Nazi boyfriend, goes to Reno and tries out a new life. The book comes with an instrumental soundtrack composed and performed by Vlautin and other members of the band, so you can listen as you read the book. "Northline" was optioned by Sharp Entertainment for a possible movie deal.

To learn more about Willy Vlautin visit his website at