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Media Life: Auburn author’s “Guinevere” book series making strong print comeback

Auburn State Recreation Area featured in new calendar; Surf legend Dick Dale making return to Auburn
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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When her Guinevere Trilogy first burst onto the literary world more than 20 years ago, Auburn author Persia Woolley cast the books’ heroine as a strong woman in the middle of Arthurian intrigue. But Woolley steeped her story of the long-ago English queen in history and the three works caught the imagination of book readers. Two decades later, the trio of tales – 1987’s “Child of the Northern Spring, “Queen of the Summer Stars” from 1990 and 1993’s “Guinevere: The Legend in Autumn” – are making a comeback. After nearly a decade-and-a-half of being out of print, Illinois publisher Sourcebook Landmarks has brought back the first in the set of historical novels in paperback this past month and will be releasing the remaining two volumes in the months to come. And in keeping with that strong woman mentality, Woolley – who moved from Auburn to Santa Rosa three years ago – drove a hard bargain with the publisher as her own agent. That followed some tough negotiations with an agent that Woolley backed away from after it became apparent that a 15 percent commission on a more recent book she had written would have bound any future projects to that agency. Tough bargainer Instead, Woolley – who had re-secured the rights to the Guinevere trilogy from publisher Simon & Shuster – was able to bargain with Sourcebook Landmarks on her own. Woolley said she’s happy with the result and pleased with the design of the initial print run on a book that earned a widespread following and even spawned a made-for-TV movie with actors Noah Wylie and Sean Patrick Flanery in 1994. With the first edition of the re-published “Child of the Northern Spring” in print since Nov. 1, Woolley will be dropping by Downtown Auburn’s Winston Smith bookstore from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday for a book signing. After 11 years of research on a series that Woolley takes pains to note isn’t a fantasy, the author plans to provide some background on the work and then answer questions about the world of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table that Guinevere emerged from as one of literature’s most enduring heroines. Park featured in calendar If you’re looking for a calendar to give at Christmas with a local, outdoor twist, look no further than the new California State Parks Foundation’s “Our Parks” calendar. None other than the Auburn State Recreation Area is featured for this coming January, with photos by Gary Philbin of Cool. But move quickly on this one. At $9.99, it’s a limited edition and available through the non-profit’s website. Surfing with a legend Dick Dale, classic surf guitar’s resident pioneer, will partially unplug for a Dec. 19 return to the Auburn Event Center in Downtown Auburn. He’ll be performing with his son, Jimmy, on the last leg of a tour that’s taking them up the West Coast as far as Vancouver, British Columbia and back. Don’t bet against the Dales riffing away on “Miserlou” and other nuggets. The 7 p.m. show will have local surf band The Pyronauts opening for what should be a unique look at one of the electric guitar’s 20th century masters. It’s an all-ages show and follows a triumphant, sold-out first-time appearance in Auburn a year ago. Ticket venues include Cherry Records in Auburn. For more information, contact (530) 823-8310.