ML - Aspen Peak

Aspen Peak - 2017 - Issue 1 - Summer

Aspen Peak - Niche Media - Aspen living at its peak

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Page 106 of 155

WRITERS HAVE LONG FLOCKED TO THE COLORADO HIGH COUNTRY FOR THE TIME, SPACE, AND CALM TO WORK. NOW IT'S ASPEN'S LITERARY INSTITUTIONS THAT ARE FURNISHING SOME OF TODAY'S FINEST FICTION. BY KELLY J. HAYES A romantic may imagine that ideas simply spring from the melting snowfields, that sentences flow ready- formed from the rushing rivers, that epiphanies fall like shooting stars from the night skies. Whatever it is, Aspen has a way of inspiring writers. "I don't mean to sound cheesy," says Brooklyn-based ex-Aspenite Carola Lovering, "but something about the majestic, secluded set- ting made me feel very creatively enabled. And it clarified my goal. I knew I had to write the book." That book, The One, is Lovering's debut novel, set for release next year by Simon & Schuster. The rarefied Rockies have long shown the power to stir passion- ate wordsmiths to create and share stories that resonate with the outside world as much as within the mountainous walls of the Roaring Fork Valley. From past writer residents, including Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), James Salter (the screenplay for Downhill Racer), and Ted Conover (Whiteout: Lost in Aspen), to today's innovators, like Linda Lafferty (The Shepherdess of Sienna ) and Maria Semple (Today Will Be Different), Aspen has a long history of cradling storytellers. But the community works its magic on visitors as well, those who come to drink from the writing well and find their voice. Lovering, 28, began writing her novel, a double narrative told from the point of view of a young woman and the "sociopathic guy she can't get over," after college as a collection of short stories. "I started writing my book when I was living in New York City, but wrote the bulk of the existing version when I moved to Aspen," she explains. "Far from the bustle of the city and in the peace of the mountains, I felt ver y removed and still. The beauty of Colorado has always inspired me, but Aspen's natural splendor is on another level." However, Aspen contributed more than scenery on Lovering's journey to publication. "Aspen has an incredible literary commu- nity—I had no idea until I moved there," she says. "A close friend of mine works at Aspen Words, so she was a big help in initially getting me involved with the writing community and attending panels and lectures. I remember one especially insightful panel at the Gant fea- turing several literary agents and editors, most of them based in New York. They offered advice on pitches and querying agents, and it was very helpful to me at that point in my own process." PHOTOGRAPHY BY BKINGFOTO/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM (MAROON BELLS); GUVENDEMIR/GETTY IMAGES (TYPEWRITER)

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