Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What Is Your Quest?

by Heidi Holtan

This week on Realgoodwords it's all about the quests. Whether it's traveling the world, paddling every lake in Itasca County or joining a women's roller derby team, we all have a passion for something that can lead to a quest of some sort.

My guests this week are authors Mary Shideler and John Shors.

John is back on Realgoodwords; this time to talk about his new novel called "The Wishing Trees". It's the story of a father and daughter and their quest to travel the world to honor their late wife and mother. Their first stop is Japan where Maddi, the 10 year old, finds out about wishing trees. Wishing Trees are where you write down your wish in life and hang it on a tree. They are thought to be spiritual and mystical places. Maddi and her father Ian not only put their wishes in wishing trees, they follow the plan and itinerary that was left for them. Ian and Maddi's quest is at times heartbreaking but is filled with transformation and redemption. Writer Wally Lamb called it "Poignant and life-affirming".

John's novels have been bestsellers and translated into many different languages. This is due in part I think, to his dedication to his readers. John has visited with over 2400 different book clubs across the country (mostly through speakerphone) - sometimes speaking to up to 3 of them in an evening. Check his website for more information.

Itasca County resident Mary Shideler is also on this week - talking about the completion of her quest to kayak ALL the lakes of Itasca County. She's published a book about this quest called "Mary the Kayak Lady - One Woman, One Kayak, 1007 Lakes." Mary talks about where she got her sense of adventure and how she put together her beautiful new book. Duluth News Tribune writer Sam Cook wrote, "Mary Shideler possesses both a sense of wonder and a sense of purpose. Her kayaking quest should be an inspiration to all of us who dare to follow our dreams."

Mary is at the Grand Rapids Area Library talking about her quest on Thursday September 15th at 7pm.

What's your quest? What drives you? Are you like me and feel the pull of the 8 wheels and knee pads of roller derby?

You can hear Realgoodwords every Wednesday on KAXE from 6-7pm and Sunday mornings from 9-10am. Archived interviews can be found here.

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