Eating Authors: Sara Stamey

1 Comment » Written on November 16th, 2015 by
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Sara Stamey

We’re midway through November, and things are picking up here at home. By which I mean the early reviews have begun trickling in, and I seem to be spending more and more time writing guest blog posts that will be springing out at an unwary reading public through the many avenues of social media in about a month’s time. This is all part of the build-up to the release of Barsk, and so getting to write about someone else and their books is a wonderful distraction.

Stepping into the role of much needed distraction is this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest, Sara Stamey. By day she appears to be a mild-mannered instructor on the faculty of Western Washington University, but a quick glance at her extra-curricular activities (including such obvious research excuses as teaching scuba diving in the Caribbean, backpacking around New Zealand, and owning a farm in Southern Chile) marks her as a writer. As does the Chanticleer Paranormal Suspense Award she received for Islands and the Cygnus Award she won for The Ariadne Connection.

All of that travel may also explain why Sara offers some of her writing courses at WWU online and to the general public (here’s a link). It’s always a good thing when you don’t have to choose between adventures in distant lands or pursuing your craft.

LMS: Welcome, Sara. Please tell me about your most memorable meal?

SS: Since I am far from a gourmet, my most memorable meal revolves around the situation, not the food. Back in the 1980s, my partner and I were backpacking around Crete and decided to hike down the famous Gorge of Samaria, reputed to be the narrowest (or longest at 16 km.) gorge in Europe. We were the only ones getting off the bus in the White Mountains, freshly dusted with snow in the week before Easter. As we hiked down the steep, beautifully wild gorge, we spotted a rare kri-kri, a native wild goat.

The Ariadne Connection

We descended past numerous tumbling waterfalls of runoff streams, and had to wade several times the swelling creek that filled the lower gorge on its way to the south coast. A drenching downpour further swelled the creek, so I barely made it across the last thigh-high fording without being swept off my feet. Spotting an abandoned small chapel in the dwindling daylight, we dashed inside the musty building and decided this was our campsite.

We lit a candle and examined the scanty remains of our picnic lunch, all we had since we’d planned to make it to a taverna and inn at the bottom of the gorge. As we contemplated our bottle of water, half loaf of bread, and chunk of halvah, a drenched couple rushed in from the downpour with only daypacks.

They were Belgians who spoke no English, but I dusted off my junior high school French, and we managed to communicate. They were day hikers and had no bedding, so we loaned them our sleeping pads and we shared our leftovers, along with their tomato and mackerel salad. The shared laughter and comradery of strangers in the storm made it an ambrosial meal to remember.

And, many years later, I used the Samaria Gorge setting for a key scene in my near-future thriller The Ariadne Connection. We writers are nourished by much more than food!

Thanks, Sara, you should probably know that those “Belgian tourists” were actually aliens. Or at least, that’s always been my experience when I find myself stuck in improbable places. Seriously.

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

#SFWApro

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One Response to “Eating Authors: Sara Stamey”

Thanks, Lawrence!  I’m looking forward to “Barsk.”


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