Monday, Nov. 14, Bowers Writers House hosted a craft talk and evening reading with author Jeffrey Ethan Lee. Lee is a fiction and poetry writer who has written many award-winning books, including “identity papers,” which was a Colorado Book Award Finalist.
During his craft talk, he had the participants do a spontaneous writing workshop as he tried to get them to find their authentic, authoritative voice by using a motherly or grandmotherly voice, one they know well. This writing workshop was a way to get the writers warmed up and ideas flowing.
“I usually use a voice of a person I know well as a character, for it’s good for characters to have flaws,” Lee said.
During his reading time, he read sections from multiple books he has compiled. The first one was a poetry book called “invisible sister.” The one section he read was a memory inside a memory as the character thought back to the eight grade year and also all the way back to their fourth grade year.
The other section from “invisible sister” was called “peace valley elementary school during the Vietnam war.” When reading this, Lee emulated the characters with slight voice changes and captured their emotions with his voice.
Another book he read from was called “Color Schemes,” in which he read two sections, the one section followed a college-aged guy during a relationship problem. The other section he read was called “Color Schemes,” just like the title, which is a short novel that is broken up into small poetry sections.
The main event was Lee reading from his book, “The Autobiography of Somebody Else.” This book is a love story that takes place partially in a theater and partially in a mental ward.
Lee read from various sections in the book, each of which portrayed a different story. Some of the sections were set as flashbacks, whereas others took place in different times.
“Life is a thing of beauty, a joy forever,” Lee let this quote sit in the air a bit as the audience grasped the feel of the scene. As inspiration, Lee used what he could remember from things that happened to him in the past.
“This book didn’t end up going through too much revision, and it came pretty quickly,” Lee said.
He has had many experiences that were able to be collected into a book many people can enjoy. His experiences were used to help further his love for writing and creating.
“I’ve always been interested in writing stories,” Lee said.