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Peoples Press

The Word is Out

So much more than skeletons

Posted in Blog by People's Press on August 3, 2011

Like Sandy Munro, author of Finding Uri, what you find might say a lot about your past, and your future.

By Alison Berkley

It’s always interesting to interview authors and learn where their inspiration comes from. What more are books than interesting stories to tell? During a recent interview with Sandy Munro, author of Finding Uri, I not only discovered what inspired his novel, but what I learned from him also inspired me.

“I’ve sent a whole shitload of people rummaging through the attic looking for old letters and things,” the Aspen-based author says. “The thing that seems to happen is they realize they too have letters in the attic.”

Munro’s book was inspired by 190 letters he discovered between his mother and his father, whom he barely knew before he was killed fighting in World War II. From a writer’s standpoint, it’s a virtual goldmine of material. For Munro, it was getting to know his father, a man whose footsteps he followed in a military career that turned out to be eerily similar. But the letters revealed even more: “I was also getting to know my mother as a 23-year-old who was madly in love.” (The letters included some sentiments that would make any son blush.)

I don’t know many people who are lucky enough to have an attic anymore, but we all have our boxes packed away in storage closets or in the garage or the basement. They’re the boxes that are the hardest to get to, buried by time and the acquisition of stuff that doesn’t really mean much, but sits there like a pile of dirt burying the treasures that are not hard to find as long as you’re willing to dig.

“That’s what people seem to connect with the most after reading my book, this whole idea of why let these things sit in the attic? Why not take a look at it?” said Munro.

So I did. I went out to the storage closet and had to remove several plastic storage containers and empty suitcases and the random items that had been tossed aside.

I dragged out the box of family memorabilia I’d salvaged from my parents’ move when they retired. Even though I’ve looked through it many times before, I always discover something new. Not because I haven’t looked at it before, but because each time I look at it, I have a different perspective. What struck me this time was my parents’ wedding invitation, as I too am soon to be a bride.

Tell us: What’s hidden in your closet (other than the skeletons)? Post your photos and have a chance to win an autographed copy of Finding Uri.



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