2007-11-01 / Upcoming Events

Writing an historical novel

Jan Shapin, author of "A Snug Life Somewhere," will give a talk Sunday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. at the Jamestown library, called "Fact and Fiction, Writing an Historical Novel."

Shapin, also a playwright, wrote the Colonial Theatre's script for "A Christmas Carol," produced in Westerly from 1992 to 1997, based on events and characters from the mill town of Carolina, RI. In 1999 she wrote a play about the Catholic worker movement that was done at various locations in the state in conjunction with the Newport Historical Society. Earlier, a play drawing on her family's history in Northern Wisconsin, was performed at the RI Playwrights' Theatre.

"A Snug Life Somewhere," her newest novel, follows the journey of a young woman caught up in labor and political events in Seattle during and immediately after World War I.

"I wanted to write something easy to read and yet full of information people don't know about the Red Scare, how the American Communist Party was financed, the 1919 Seattle General Strike. So I took a fictional character, Penny Joe Copper, and set her in the middle of a labor tragedy, where her brother was killed, then followed her as she got caught up in the political events that swirled around her," she said.

Shapin, 63, a Newport resident, has been writing plays and screenplays for over 20 years. Recently she has turned her attention to fiction.

Light refreshments will be served and the author will be available to sign books.

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