Tuesday, November 09, 2010



Last year I was at a writers' fest in Creston and one of the readings I remember was by Tanna Patterson-Z. It was from her soon-to-be-published novel, Butterflies in Bucaramanga. It's fiction based on fact, or fiction the author admits right up front is based on fact, as opposed to most other fiction where the author denies everything and hmmmm... The other day I ran into her at the Castlegar Craft Fair. She had a table and was selling copies of her just-released book, published by NeWest Press.

In 1998, diamond driller Ed Leonard, also of Creston, was kidnapped by guerrillas and held for 105 days, almost as long as the life-span of the stunning, iridescent blue Morpho butterfly. His survival was due in no small part to his obsession with them. A Google search tells me they can have a wing-span up to 8 inches (20 cm) and they like to drink from such delicacies as fungi, tree sap, rotting fruit, wet mud and decomposing animals. 

At the time of the kidnapping Tanna was working with Ed's wife. After he was released and Tanna heard more about what had happened to him, she realized the story's potential and wrote a letter about it to Jon Krakauer of Into Thin Air and Into the Wild fame. Jon's curiosity was sufficiently piqued that he called her to say yes, it was a great story, but he was too busy to write it. Tanna decided to take it on. 

She'll be reading from Butterflies in Bucaramanga in Nelson on Tuesday, November 30, 7:30PM at the Nelson Municipal Library.


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