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Discover the motivation and meaning behind ‘Go as a River’ with author Shelley Read on the Kooler Lifestyle Podcast #40

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00:00:00 Shelley Read
Up in the valley. And I know that the flooding and the displacement around the creation of Blue Mesa Reservoir is a very, very painful story for a lot of those people. And so I very much wanted to have that is the setting of my novel. But I also didn’t want to offend or or or claim to own any knowledge that I didn’t have and so that.

00:00:27 Shelley Read
That then spurred me to do, as you said, a ton of research.

00:00:31 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Welcome to the Kooler Lifestyle Podcast. I’m your host, Matt Kuehlhorn, and I’m excited to have you join me as I interview community members and business leaders from the communities in which I live, work and serve through my business Kooler Garage Doors. We’re going to bring you highlights on characters in our communities. Why?

00:00:49 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Because community matters and I want to know more about who is behind our business and leadership in order to understand and support the community fabric that our relationships make up. And collectively, we can build stronger communities that support our lifestyles, our youth and our health.

00:01:11 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Welcome ladies and gentlemen. This is the Kooler Lifestyle Podcast. I’m your host, Matt Kuehlhorn. Today I have Shelly Read as our guest author friend. I’m so excited to speak with you. Shelly, thank you so much for joining.

00:01:25 Shelley Read
Matt, it’s so nice to be here. Thank you for having me.

00:01:29 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, and you had mentioned, and with the image behind you, you’re beaming in from Moab. You’re on a book tour currently.

00:01:36 Shelley Read
I am. I’m in a hotel in Moab.

00:01:39 Shelley Read
Unfortunately I’m wearing a turtleneck and a sweater because it’s been pouring rain and snow the whole time. We’ve been so not the the March escape with the flip flops that one would hope. But yeah, I am on a book tour, which is remarkable to me. I got to read last night at the back of Beyond Books, which is one of my all time favorite bookshops. So really live in the dream.

00:02:01 Matthew Kuehlhorn
How many stops are on a tour? Are you doing multiple tours or?

00:02:07 Shelley Read
I will do several different tours. This is the first one. It’s sort of a regional tour and I will run a handful of outliers thrown in and I don’t actually know. I didn’t count them up, but like 10. I’m really on the road. Denver, Boulder, Collins. I went to Miami and I did Grand Chance, Salt Lake City, Park City, Mow App. Then I’m doing Durango, Telluride, Uray, Payonya, and then I get to come home.

00:02:32 Shelley Read
But some of the greatest places you know, that we all know and love. So I’m I’m having a great time.

00:02:38 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah. And in your novel has hit a chord and you’ve gotten just boosted into knowing, right? Like, people know about the novel, they know about you. You’ve you’ve hit something with this, and I want to get there. But first, where did you grow up?

00:02:57 Shelley Read
Well, I, as is talked about quite a bit lately since my book is hit a chord. As you said, I’m a fifth generation Colorado and so I grew up in Colorado Springs at my family history, which I’ll talk about in a minute. But my family history, you know, started with home starters on the Eastern Plains and then eventually when my family urbanized, they came to Colorado Springs. So I grew up with three generations of family.

00:03:26 Shelley Read
In Colorado Springs, my grandparents just down the, you know, in the same neighborhood and my aunt and uncle not too far away, and my brother Chris and my brother Scott, your your buddies with my my brother Chris. We all grew up in Colorado Springs generationally. And yeah, I still really love it there, actually. My parents live downtown and it’s a thrill to get to go back there when I can.

00:03:49 Matthew Kuehlhorn
What do you appreciate about your family in this, in this history home setting to urbanized and?

00:03:55 Matthew Kuehlhorn
What do you think is like the common thread between all the generations? What is? What is stuck? Yeah, that’s a value or.

00:04:02 Shelley Read
Oh, I can actually answer that right away. And that’s being really dedicated family people and and actually really kind of tenacious hard workers. So my great, great grandparents on all sides settled in Colorado, The northeastern plains of Colorado is where my great, great grandmothers.

00:04:25 Shelley Read
Family settled. They actually came W homesteaded out there near Deer Trail and dug into a hillside and created a sod house. And at that time, you know, late 1800s, very wild landscape. And my word has it that my greatgreatgrandfather then not too long after that died out there chopping wood or doing some sort of physical labor.

00:04:52 Shelley Read
And it was my great, great grandmother who kept the ranch going, the farm going and the and the children raised and everybody alive. And then my great grandmother who that was her childhood. I actually knew her very well. I grew up well, I guess I should say I had 4 generations in Colorado Springs, was actually knew my great grandparents for well into their 90s. So I heard all those stories and then the other side of the family.

00:05:20 Shelley Read
Homesteaded in southeastern Colorado, around the Trinidad, Lamar, Wiley, that area. And they also were homesteaders and ranchers and farmers and just incredibly tenacious, hardworking, humble people. And I think that has carried on throughout all of our generations. And I really, really value, I really value that heritage. I’ve gathered a lot of strength from from that and one of our grandfathers.

00:05:48 Shelley Read
Furman Burns, My grandpa Furman was an incredible storyteller and he made sure that my family really knew these stories, so I really carry those in me super.

00:05:58 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Cool. Oh my gosh, This is, this is beautiful. I’m just seeing this, this common thread and and how it kind of builds out to where we’re at today. So you grew up in Colorado Springs and I know you and your family are based in Crested View. Yeah.

00:06:15 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Your retired professor. You spent a lot of years at Western.

00:06:19 Shelley Read
I did, yeah.

00:06:20 Matthew Kuehlhorn
How did you make how did you make it from Colorado Springs into the Gunnison Valley?

00:06:25 Shelley Read
Oh, well, I owe my aunt and uncle a lot for that. My my aunt and uncle John and Kathy Burns, they came to Western in 1963. I think maybe 64. I should have that right? Well, before I was born, they they came, they decided to come to Western.

00:06:44 Shelley Read
And they ended up staying. So they lived in Crested Butte in 1964196566. My uncle John was one of the first ski patrolman. He was out there, you know, with George Sibley and Don Bachman and some of those Gunnison Valley classics. They were out figuring out how to patrol the the relatively new ski area. And I grew up with all of those stories as well. So I had the great gift.

00:07:13 Shelley Read
Of coming to Crested Butte when I was a brand new baby for the first time. I have no memory of coming around that corner by Round Mountain, you know, and seeing all those mountains spread spread across. I love that view. Every time I’m away from home and I get to come back in the valley, you guys all know the coroner and then you’re like, ah, there’s all the mountains. I don’t remember seeing that for the first time because I I was just a baby. I learned to ski in Crested Butte when I was three years old and.

00:07:42 Shelley Read
I always had family there, so I was so grateful for that. My mom and dad made sure that we camped and skied and hiked those hills ever since, I can remember. So super grateful for that. And then as just as soon as I was able to choose where I wanted to live in summers when I was in college at the University of Denver, so mid 90s, I started living in Crested Butte in the summers.

00:08:10 Shelley Read
And I continued to live in. That was 1985, I guess. I think I’ve had my P.O. Box since 1985 and I lived there in the summers. I’ve done a crazy assortment of odd jobs. I think I’ve had 10 or 12 different jobs in the Valley. I waitressed and been a housekeeper. I was a dishwasher at soups on. I’ve I’ve done all sorts of things and and then I went on to grad school and was lucky enough to get a job teaching at Western in 1991.

00:08:41 Shelley Read
Yeah. And so I settled in the Valley full time in 1991. Beautiful. I’m super grateful for that, that sense of homeland in the Valley since I was a little kid and I just knew that’s where I needed to make my life. Yeah, which?

00:08:57 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, yeah, I love that. And certainly significant change throughout those years. Yeah. And I’ve heard from your brother Chris, you know, when you guys were kids, I mean that was when this.

00:09:09 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Every street was dirt where, yeah, I mean it was seemed like a lot Wilder type of place and.

00:09:15 Shelley Read
Yeah, it it rule was it. It felt a lot. It was more. Those are kind of the hippie years, which I think were sort of beautiful years. In Crested Butte. My Uncle John, also an amazing storyteller, tells a story that when they were bored, they used to.

00:09:34 Shelley Read
He said they’d go trolling for dogs because they really were probably more dogs than people in Crestview at the time. And and it was all dirt roads. And they would literally get some beer, get in the back of a pickup, drive around the town across the view trailing bones behind the car and see how many dogs, Oh my God. So it’s kind of this silly wild.

00:09:55 Shelley Read
Years of Crested Butte that I remember and I loved and also so many of the old timers. Tony Verzue Tony Mahalik. A lot of the the old timers were still there and you’d walk into the bar into the kid Cheevers. They’d all been sitting at the bar and I didn’t know them know them like, but I they were all around me as a kid and I really really value having those mental images of like Tony Mahalik out shoveling hit the snow out in front of the Tony’s Conoco and.

00:10:24 Shelley Read
I don’t know that era of Crested Butte. There’s always change in any place, in any town. But that era of Crested Butte, I really, really hope here, yeah.

00:10:34 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, it’s super special. From your perspective as Crested Butte. What’s the question? You know what? I know the change is constant, right? And we see different eras. And that one, you know, almost sounds magical and, you know, have we?

00:10:53 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Have we lost that?

00:10:55 Shelley Read
Well, you know, I think I’m a very historical thinker. I think it’s no, I didn’t necessarily plan to write a historical novel, but it’s no surprise to me that I did. I I worry about our culture being a historical and the repercussions of that. And so I I always sort of had the have the broader historical perspective in anywhere that I live or visit and I feel like you know those.

00:11:22 Shelley Read
Years that that we’re sort of romanticizing. The old timers were looking at the the people in Crested meat in the 60s and 70s thinking Oh no, you know what horrible changes happened. You know the miners were a little freaked out by the hippies and then the you know the next year I was you know and it’s the hippies were a little freaked out by the and the next year we currently are maybe a little bit freaked out by the increase in the financial exclusivity of Crested Butte and and.

00:11:52 Shelley Read
Some of the the newcomers I I think what I’ve always felt about change in our valley is that change is inevitable. We try to be good stewards of our valley and of the land that we all love so much. And I’m so grateful in the Gunnison Valley that we have so many people who are so committed to the place. You are one of them to make it the best place that it can be. And I think that the things that we value most in the valley, which are community.

00:12:21 Shelley Read
And and love of one another and wild landscapes and, you know, the ranching, heritage, education and caring for the natural world. I think that if anyone who comes in can hold those same values, then we’re then we’re good. If if newcomers come in and they don’t have those values, then it ends up changing a place so fundamentally. But I feel like so far so good.

00:12:50 Shelley Read
I’m concerned about some changes, sure, but I think we do have such a strong community in the Valley and I I love that so, so, so much.

00:12:59 Luke Hylton
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00:13:09 Luke Hylton

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00:13:35 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Well said, I love that we’ve been alluding to your book Go as a river. So this is what you’re on book tour for, and I would imagine a lot of listeners have seen this, maybe even have read it already.

00:13:55 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Or if you haven’t, like it’s available a lot of local bookstores and I encourage you to pick it up. I have honestly not read the full novel yet. That’s my wife Annie has. But as I pick up sections of it, I love the way that you write.

00:14:12 Shelley Read

00:14:12 Matthew Kuehlhorn
I can only imagine that comes through from some very technical education and then being a professor can only.

00:14:23 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Further that, because I’d imagine you’re a lifelong learner and you’re constantly picking up technique and ideas. Yeah, and then it also what I’m hearing comes from just a lineage of storytellers.

00:14:34 Shelley Read

00:14:35 Matthew Kuehlhorn
How does how does this blend together into a novel? And what’s the journey been like for you getting to where you’re an author?

00:14:45 Shelley Read
Well, it’s been a long time coming. You know, I’m 57 years old. I this is my first novel.

00:14:52 Shelley Read
And yet I set out to be a writer as a kid, you know. And so, you know, I I kind of love the answer to your question. I love your question and I love my answer to your question because I hope it inspires other writers and other creatives to just stick with what you love over time, you know, and that there’s no artificial timeline on any of it. Like you said, I I taught at Western for 27 years. I also taught at the University of Denver and at Temple University when I was at.

00:15:22 Shelley Read
Master’s student and a PhD student. I I loved teaching. I found it so meaningful. I set out to be a writer. In my education. I was a double major in creative writing and journalism and and also literary studies at the University of Denver. I went on to the Temple University Graduate program in Creative Writing for a master’s degree. Fresh out, You know, right out of college. I was 22 years old.

00:15:46 Shelley Read
I knew that’s what I wanted to do, but also while I was in grad school I was awarded a teaching fellowship and I didn’t know how much I was going to love teaching and feel like it was a way to effect positive change in the world by guiding and helping young people. So I really fell in love with it. And then it was just such a dream come true to get a job teaching at Western and be able to come back to the Gunnison Valley and and settle there after leaving for grad school.

00:16:15 Shelley Read
And so honestly, I just poured all my heart and soul into my students. And then when my kids, Avery and Owen were born, I poured all my heart and soul into being a mom. And then there’s just life, you know, and the realities as you know all too well as a parent. There are only so many hours in the day. And so I’m not going to say I totally abandoned my writing, but I did. I did put lower on my priority list.

00:16:43 Shelley Read
But I was teaching writing and I was teaching my students, you know, to believe in their writing and believe in their creativity and cheering them on. And then they would ask me, oh, well, Shelly, what have you written lately? I’m like, oh, I don’t, I don’t have time to write. And honestly that it was the irony of that, that overtime just started chipping away at me. And so I felt like after a full career of teaching all those years, I was really, really ready to move on.

00:17:10 Shelley Read
And I had already been chipping away at this novel for many, many years, just kind of little by little by little. And so it all just sort of converged. They took early, early retirement in 2018 from Western and I. By that time, the novel really was mostly complete. I needed to do some revisions after that. And then I just. I made the leap. Financially, it was very scary. My husband Eric was super supportive and I just made the leap.

00:17:38 Shelley Read
And I’m super glad I did because I was able to finish the book, get it out in the world, And now, like you said, it’s being received so broadly. It’s actually being translated into 30 languages and published in 35 countries. Or there’s something about what I had to say in this book that I cultivated little by little by little over time that is really resonating with readers. And that’s honestly just every writer’s dream.

00:18:06 Shelley Read
That it would mean something to people’s hearts, You know, So

00:18:10 Matthew Kuehlhorn
what do?

00:18:10 Matthew Kuehlhorn
You think it means to people?

00:18:12 Shelley Read
Well, that the the novel is about a young woman. The entire novel is set in the Gunnison Valley, well, most of it, And it eventually pops over to the North Fork Valley and pay on you. Yeah, it’s a young woman growing up the bank along the banks of the wild Gunnison River through the area that was once Iola. And I know you’ve interviewed Dave Primus, and Dave recently has a wonderful lookout.

00:18:36 Shelley Read
That about, you know, what lies beneath Blue Mesa Reservoir. I hope everybody buys it. And because I think it’s such a really crucial piece of history, I had no idea that Dave and I were both really obsessing over the Iowa area at the same time. But the fact that there are towns at the bottom of Blue Mesa Reservoir has always captured my imagination since I was a kid, actually. And so the novel has a strong sense of place.

00:19:04 Shelley Read
And also of displacement. I think that’s resonating with people. At one point my main character flees the Iola area and goes up to what is the bit was the Big Blue wilderness, but is now the Uncle Pugre deeply rooted in the in the wild landscapes. I think a love of wilderness or need for wilderness in our lives is resonating with a lot of people. And then also my character is just a relatively naive young woman at the beginning who has to face.

00:19:33 Shelley Read
Many, many tragedies and challenges and the the pain of displacement and I think her journey of finding her own strength and resilience is also really resonating with people, especially post pandemic. And in these rather uncertain times, I think it’s really nice to remind people that we’re often far stronger than we know we are and that we have the ability to rise up against challenge when we’re called to do so. So that’s my guess, doesn’t my.

00:20:01 Matthew Kuehlhorn

00:20:03 Matthew Kuehlhorn
This is so good. I’ve got a an insight that’s coming up. I’m going to share in in just a couple of moments but not yet. I just see this thread and This is why I love these conversations, Shelly because you know I engage with folks that are that are doing something that they’re passionate about and then we get to learn some of the context of that individual’s life and you’ve been so gracious and sharing your family’s history and how that’s inspired you and.

00:20:33 Matthew Kuehlhorn
It’s just it’s just beautiful to be able to see this from an observer and and really how it all ties together so go as a river internationally acclaimed author right out of the gate and.

00:20:52 Shelley Read

00:20:53 Matthew Kuehlhorn
And a long time coming, what would you share with folks that?

00:20:58 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Maybe are younger, maybe are older, but they have a story inside them and they want to, they want to get it out. Like, is there some tidbit to either process or, you know, whether it’s inspiration or tactical, what might you have to offer to folks?

00:21:15 Shelley Read
Yeah, well, you know, I always taught my writing students that it’s all about process. You know, life is about process. We we convince ourselves that there’s a quick way from point A to point B. But.

00:21:27 Shelley Read
That’s actually not true about anything. It doesn’t matter if you’re climbing a mountain, reading a novel or deciding on your life path or anything else that our lives are windy. You know, the the river becomes quite a metaphor throughout the course of my book. The Gunnison River, the North Fork River, even the Animas River in Durango plays a role in the book. I’m fascinated by what rivers can teach us about the winding paths of our lives. I mean, look at the east, right? Look at that, that, that section right behind mount.

00:21:57 Shelley Read
I’m not crushed to beat the East River where it’s super super winding. I just find that such a metaphor for life. And so I think that process and believing that everything you know if you show up the best of intentions and your best self if you show up life is going to unfold as it should. And for people that feel that they have a story inside of them I would say to.

00:22:26 Shelley Read
To tell that story, that it went in whatever way, whatever time frame, whatever process makes sense both to you and to that story. So for me, the story of Go as a river, as we talked about it, was informed by MyHeritage. It’s informed by my deep respect for the ranching community in the Gunnison Valley. It was informed by my love of wilderness and because this book came from a super deep, authentic place inside of me.

00:22:56 Shelley Read
I actually think that that made it a much better story. And so I think the other piece of advice I would give to people along with believe in the process is make sure that your stories are coming from a really honest place inside of you. Because I think readers, readers feel that when when they when they engage with the story, whether you’re telling it or whether you’re writing it.

00:23:22 Shelley Read
The more authentic that we can be in everything that we do in our lives, the more that’s going to resonate with people is genuine. And I think we’re honestly just craving that in our lives and in our culture. So I think that would be my two pieces of advice and just, you know, like honestly, just stick with it. Live your life, live the life you love and you’re meant to live. I know that it can be challenging to do that and they’re all sorts of financial realities and and family realities and all of that that that might interfere.

00:23:52 Shelley Read
But it’s very important that we clear space for our creativity and for our deeper selves.

00:23:59 Matthew Kuehlhorn
I love that my my insight and just connecting how you were speaking about your students, your children now this book and and what I’m sensing from you, Shelly is you know potentially a message if I was to put it on a bumper sticker from Shelly Readto the world is believe in you.

00:24:21 Shelley Read
Absolutely, absolutely. You know, honestly, if I’d, I taught, I taught lots of different departments, lots of different types of classes, lots of different things while I was at Western. But if I had to tell in a bumper sticker or in a nutshell, what I taught my students was believe in you, you know, believe in you. Because why not? Why not? First of all, this is what we thought, right? But I think the whole world, your whole perspective, your entire path, everything changes when you believe in yourself and your own unique.

00:24:50 Shelley Read
Ability to be in the world and just the only way that you can be. So yeah, thank you for that. I love that I’m getting bumper stickers, not I’m doing it.

00:24:59 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Do it. I don’t want to let you go to quite yet, Shelly, and I want to. I want to go back a little bit in to go as a river because you’re mentioning a lot of a lot of history, and I can only imagine the amount of research that goes into uncovering some of these stories because the characters are very real like.

00:25:18 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Maybe Victoria wasn’t like an actual Cuban in that moment, but she actually was.

00:25:24 Shelley Read
Like, yeah, very real.

00:25:26 Matthew Kuehlhorn
So sort of what was the what was the historical deep dive I was assuming? Lots of conversations and studying and yeah, speak.

00:25:34 Shelley Read
To that a little bit. It’s such a tricky thing to write a work of fiction about a real place and a real time period and a real event, like the building of Blue Mesa Dam and the flooding of the Gunnison Valley, that section of the Gunnison Valley.

00:25:48 Shelley Read
Particularly because I know that there are former inhabitants of Iola that still live in the valley. And I know that the flooding and the displacement around the creation of Blue Mesa Reservoir is a very, very painful story for a lot of those people. And so I very much wanted to have that is the setting of my novel. But I also didn’t want to offend or or or.

00:26:17 Shelley Read
Claim to own any knowledge that I didn’t have. And so that that then spurred me to do as you said, a ton of research. I’m so grateful to have been in the valley for so many years. 35 I don’t even know. I’ve lost track 30 plus years making my home full time in the valley. I’ve gathered a lot of stories along the way. I also value our storykeepers, the historians in our Valley particularly.

00:26:43 Shelley Read
Wayne Vandenbusch and George Sibley, who are dear friends of mine, Glow Cunningham, All of these people who carry the stories in the history of the Valley and have taught me so much over lots of years. So I knew a lot of the history already. And I knew I’d spoken with and known a lot of the stories of the displacement around Iola and Sapinero and Saboya. I just. I then did have to do quite a bit of like conventional research into the details of the damning.

00:27:10 Shelley Read
Of the river and how complicated that is, How complicated the Colorado River contact is. 100 year old law that’s still dictating water law in the in the West. So there was a lot of combination of investigating landscape, history, emotions in order to try to bring this story alive that I also had to keep reminding myself that it was a work. It is a work of fiction.

00:27:40 Shelley Read
And in that way, I actually have a lot of creative license to create scenarios and stories and circumstances that weren’t actually true for the real Iola. And I hope that ends up being okay for the people who remember the real Iola, because it is a work of fiction and I had to feel confident in my ability to tell Victoria’s story as opposed to the story of anyone who actually lived in Iowa. Yeah, it’s amazing. It opens in 1948.

00:28:09 Shelley Read
And it follows her journey until 1971. So, so it’s sort of that, that era and and some flashbacks to the World War Two era. It’s kind of bookended by World War Two and the Vietnam era. And I have a few things to say about war and about notions of progress. I also have an indigenous character because I certainly could not tell a story about the displacement in the American West without at least eluding, without including on some level.

00:28:38 Shelley Read
The Indigenous experience and the pain of the generational displacement there. But I also knew that wasn’t really my story to tell. And so I I only tell that story through the lens of the character of Victoria. So there are lots and lots of layers that are fictional. But again, like you said, based in, based in reality. It was a little tricky, honestly. It was a, it was a tricky story to write in that way, yeah.

00:29:03 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, I get that Very interesting process. Are there?

00:29:07 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Other novels that are inside you.

00:29:09 Shelley Read
Yes, waiting to come out, most definitely. Now that I’m on this role and I have some space cleared for the first time in my life, I actually do really get to honor myself as a writer. And that has now become my job, which is just a dream come true for that little 7 year old Shelly who set out to be a writer. You know, Yeah, I am working.

00:29:32 Shelley Read
Hypothetically, at least on a second novel. Right now, I’m very, very busy with this one. I’m I’m finishing up this poor book tour that I’m on my way to Europe for six weeks to do a book tour there, and it’s all just so exciting and so amazing. But I do have this next novel percolating in my brain, and I’m actually really looking forward to when things quiet down and I can just sit down and write it.

00:29:56 Shelley Read
I’ve never actually just sat down and written a novel before. This one, you know, was just little by little by little by little over a span of 10 or 12 years. My new one, I’m going to need to actually just sit down and write it. So that’ll actually be a new experience for me. Yeah. I don’t know if I know how, but I’ll figure it.

00:30:15 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Out next level, Next level.

00:30:17 Shelley Read

00:30:17 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Beautiful for folks listening, where can we find go as a river and where can we follow?

00:30:26 Matthew Kuehlhorn
You and your journey, how do we learn about next book tours and events and stops? And is there social media, websites kind of stuff?

00:30:35 Shelley Read
Thank you for that. My my book is literally everywhere books are sold. I keep getting great photos from friends who find it in airport bookshops all over the country, and they love that. Or some tiny little bookshop in some rural area.

00:30:49 Shelley Read
Georgia, whatever my book has been, I’m so grateful to say, really embraced by independent book shops. As well as there’s a special Barnes and Noble edition. It’s on Amazon, obviously. I always encourage people to buy from independent book shops, especially there in our own valley at Abracadabra or at Towney Books, but it is literally everywhere the books are sold. It looks like this and has a Peach on the cover, which you’ll figure out why once you read the book and you can get it. Absolutely anywhere. And I at for my website and I did have to make the leap and join social media for the first time in my life. And I I was. I’m actually really enjoying it. I’m on Instagram and there is a really enthusiastic group of books to grammars on Instagram who are really loving my book.

00:31:46 Shelley Read
Been fascinating to see that web of book lovers. It’s a very positive happy space around books and I was really grateful to discover it actually for for me. So any of those places you can keep up with me and my book tour is posted there and yeah it’s very weird to be this out in the world in this public but so far people have been very kind I.

00:32:10 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Love that.

00:32:12 Matthew Kuehlhorn
We will include links and tags into your social media accounts in our in our show notes. So listeners, check for the links And then just to add on to the the mystery of the Peach, I found that absolutely fascinating. Like I had no idea. Thank.

00:32:28 Shelley Read

00:32:29 Matthew Kuehlhorn
So I’ll just add to that for encouraging folks to read and find out that story and how that is.

00:32:36 Shelley Read
The. The.

00:32:37 Shelley Read
Peach farmers of the North Fork Valley were incredibly helpful to me. Very, very, very kind. I interviewed so many of them to really understanding Peach farming over in the Paonia Hotchkiss area. So I’ll make a plug for them that we do grow these amazing Peaches on the western slope of Colorado and men are are those ancestral and generational Peach farmers Kind and amazing people. Really. Yeah. So I’ll just, I’ll just end with throwing that out because it’s a really special thing.

00:33:07 Shelley Read
That we have here at the Western Slope with our Peaches. I don’t want to ever take that for granted again, It’s great.

00:33:14 Matthew Kuehlhorn
That’s awesome. And as we close Shelly, I’ll give you one more opportunity to give shoutouts to gratitude because this will be my last question. And as as I asked this like I want to thank you for sharing your authenticity, for promoting the believe in you kind of mentality like it’s absolutely beautiful and I think.

00:33:37 Matthew Kuehlhorn
That is a part of what hits a chord through your book go as a river because the characters are easy to relate to. You do build a sense of place you’re writing is is textbook like it’s beautiful. I just I found it such a flow to it so I can understand why people are are grabbing on to this and being like yeah this is this is there’s some of us in these characters.

00:34:03 Matthew Kuehlhorn
And and rooted into the land, no matter where we’re from. And just in closing, Shelly, is there anybody you want to give a shout out to gratitude wise?

00:34:13 Shelley Read
And Oh my gosh, it’s a long lost. Let me tell you in the I’ve always said it takes a village to raise a child, which as you know is very true. And I’ve been so grateful to raise my kids in the village of the Gunnison Valley. But it takes a village.

00:34:29 Shelley Read
To get a book in the world, let me tell you. And I’ve had so many people so behind me, but number one has got to be my husband, Eric. Eric Forsythe. You guys all know him. He’s he’s a gem and he has been behind me all the way. And and my kids, Avery, no one in my family and my brother Chris, my family. Like I said at to begin this conversation. So we’ll bring it full circle. What’s the thread that runs all the way through my ancestry? And that is an incredible devotion.

00:34:58 Shelley Read
And support of family and my family’s been incredible. Jennifer and Chris Read. My my family has cheered me on every step of the way. And that’s where I’m going to place my greatest gratitude. As well as, like you said, the community of the Gunnison Valley. I love you. Thank you for holding us, my family up all of these, all these decades.

00:35:20 Matthew Kuehlhorn
It’s beautiful. Shelly, thank you so much for your time and your conversation today. I really appreciate.

00:35:24 Shelley Read
It thank you, Matt. It’s been a pleasure. Great to see you.