I Write...

Books

White Shadow

White Shadow by Libby James

"She was overcome with the sense that she’d known him in another time, that somehow she was drawing this dark man toward her.”

Janet, a 17-year-old white American, fell in love with him when she heard Eduardo speak at a church camp in Wisconsin in 1951 and this love defined the rest of her life. The agony of racial discrimination, alienation from family, the pain of separation, the fear of betrayal and even death—none of these could derail a love that “just is—like the love of a child, a lover, a grandmother—the beginning and the end.” With Eduardo she went halfway around the world to fight for the independence of Mozambique from 500 years of domination by Portugal. White Shadow tells the story of her unsung role in a brutal 10-year war effort with all its victories and defeats, moments of despair and joy.

Available:

Frisbee Dreams

Frisbee Dreams by Libby James

(Middle grade fiction)

Lauren is a nail-biting, overweight, underachieving TV cartoon addict who surprises her parents and four “jock” siblings when she evolves into a self-confident sixth grader, transformed by her skill with a Frisbee and encouraged by her relationship with a retired football coach who becomes her mentor. The story addresses physical fitness, intergenerational friendship and sibling rivalry.

Frisbee Dreams emphasizes the importance of developing friendships, finding one’s potential, and the need people have for each other. Readers will see the value of working hard on a skill, making tough choices and working to develop a positive sense of self. And they’ll learn a good bit about Frisbee as well."

-- Seraina Gessler, teacher

Author’s Comments:

Frisbee Dreams has been an enormously long time in coming. So long in fact, that my son, who loved playing with a Frisbee as a kid and who inspired the story, is about to turn 52.

That is not a typo.

What took me so long? Like so many people I know, I love to write. I always have. I can’t not do it. I’d like to think that I am better at writing than I am at jumping through a
series of painful hoops to shepherd a story from the depths of my computer into the light of day.

Anyone who’s tried it will understand. After a while, you give up and stash your words away in a file somewhere. That’s what I did until I decided to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the world of self-publishing.

Time was, if you “self-published” it meant that you had a big ego and were willing to do almost anything to see your words in print. It was commonly referred to as “vanity” publishing.

Today some of that stigma has disappeared and self-publishing has become much more accessible and acceptable. For better and for worse.

For me, the self-publishing journey has been a great adventure filled with some tension, frustration and stress, but mostly a learning experience I’m happy to have undertaken.

It’s never been about the money. It’s about wanting to share a story—in this case with middle grade young people—that I hope will engage and entertain them. If, along the way, they take away something more than that, all the better.

Frisbee Dreams is a simple story—no zombies, vampires or dystopia—just a bit of imagination intended to make most anything possible.

Available:

  • Paperback on Amazon
  • From the author:

Running Mates

Running Mates by Libby James

(Middle grade fiction)


Henry's quirky grandmother embarrasses him big time and insists that he teach her how to run a marathon. One of the slowest on his middle school cross country team, he balks at first, then comes to appreciate his grandmother and take pride in her accomplishment.

“Read right though the manuscript. I could not put it down. Kids will love it and even some big kids. Running Mates is an inspirational story for anyone who has ever laced up a pair of running shoes. It’s easy to connect with Henry and his grandma as they both overcome challenges and discover the joy of running.”

-- Doug Bell, masters national record holder in the 5k and 25k

Author’s Comments:
I hope you enjoy reading about Henry and his grandma. Perhaps you would like to know how the story came to be.

A few years ago, when I first got the idea for this story, I called it Gert Wonders and there was only one character. Her name was Gert and one day she began to wonder what it would be like to run a marathon. My grandma’s name was Gert.

All her life Gert had been wondering about all sorts of things and usually her wonderings got her into quite a lot of trouble. The story told about how hard it was for her to start running and build up to the point where she could run for more than 26 miles.

I worked hard to make her funny and interesting to kids. But guess what. When I first wrote the story, there were no kids in it! When I realized this, I started over.

I kept Gert, the lady who wondered about things, but I added Henry. I decided to have Henry tell the story.

Because Henry was 13, I had to make him talk like a young teen. That wasn’t too hard because I had a grandson who was 13. I thought about what is important to kids that age, what they like to eat and wear, how much they like to sleep, how important their friends are and how a relative can make them feel uncomfortable.

Available:

  • Paperback and e-book on Amazon
  • Local bookstores
  • From the author:

Muffin Magic

Muffin Magic by Libby James

(Juvenile fiction)


The story revolves around Adam who loves the muffins his dad bakes every Saturday morning. He loves his dad too, but not the fact that they move so frequently because of his dad’s job. He has a hard time with each new house, new bedroom and new school. He especially hates eating lunch alone at school as new kids often do. When Dad says it’s time to move again, Adam swings into action and dreams up a plan. Dad gives it a try. The story addresses problem-solving, child-parent cooperation, single parenting and learning to cook.

“I’ve been privileged to watch the progress of Muffin Magic from its first mixing through to its rise to perfection. It’s my favorite kind of story where a child solves a big problem.”

-- Linda Arms White, author of Too Many Pumpkins and other children’s books

Available:

  • E-book on Amazon
  • Local bookstores

Red Ribbons: "Coming in Second is Not All That Bad"

Red Ribbons by Libby James and Rev. Bob Geller


I was fortunate enough to help the Rev. Bob Geller of Fort Collins write his memoir.

Available:

  • From the Geller Center for Spiritual Development (970-482-8487)

Sugarbush to Savannah: A Life Journey by Committee

Sugarbush to Savannah by Libby James


Tells the life stories of a group of 12 college friends. A few copies remain.

Available:

  • From the author:

Going Green: True Tales of Gleaners, Scavengers and Dumpster Divers

Going Green, edited by Laura Pritchett


"Of Rags and Bags" was included in this anthology, edited by Laura Pritchett, University of Oklahoma Press.

Libby James' 66-year-old running jacket

Libby's 66-year-old running jacket

Available:

  • Paperback from Amazon
  • Local bookstores

Publications

Libby James after running the Carlsbad 1/2 marathon“Are You Still Running?”

I am working on a book about running based on a series of columns I wrote for the Fort Collins Coloradoan.

 

Enjoying some recovery time after the Carlsbad 1/2 Marathon, January 15, 2015.