Josh Kilen at Browsers Bookshop

by Christina Butcher for OLY ARTS

Pacific-Northwest author Josh Kilen will be reading from his newest book, Around the Sound: Amusing Thoughts and Tales from Washington’s Puget Sound at Browsers Bookshop. Published in April, the book includes humorous short stories and essays about the Puget Sound and its rich history.

“The book was born out of my love for the Pacific Northwest,” said Kilen, “our land filled with misfits and wanderers who sometimes don’t look like either. The Puget Sound was the finish line for Manifest Destiny, the last frontier to be conquered, and so there’s this heady mix optimism and disappointment that not only permeates our (Pacific Northwest) history but also our current culture.”

Born and raised in Tacoma, 36-year-old Kilen led a tumultuous life prior to becoming a professional writer. After committing bank fraud while working for Key Bank in 2006, he was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. It wasn’t until 2011, after returning home and reconciling with his family, that Kilen published his first book, Doom of the Three Stones. Since then, he has written 16 books, including novels in the mystery, young adult, science fiction and apocalyptic genres, plus nonfiction works about social media, professional negotiation and publishing.

When asked what inspired him to write his most-recent book, Kilen said, “My favorite author is travel author Bill Bryson. I love the research and histories that he’s able to uncover, along with his wit and insight when he writes about the places he visits. Around the Sound began as a writing exercise of mine, trying to imitate his unique style of writing.”

Currently, Kilen is the managing publisher of Cantonfield Media, where he also works as a writer. He focuses on finding and writing stories that will change people’s lives—because, he says, “our stories are meant to be told.”

What: Josh Kilen author reading

When:  7-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9

Where: Browsers Bookshop,
107 Capitol Way N, Olympia

How much: free

Learn more: 360-357-7462 | Browsers Bookshop

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