New York Times bestselling author and Great Falls resident Jamie Ford is back at it. On Tuesday, September 12th, his newest literary creation hit store shelves. "Love and Other Consolation Prizes" is now available to the public.
In a work of historical fiction, the author's third novel depicts a coming of age love story inspired by the real life of a young boy who was raffled off as a prize at the 1909 World's Fair in Seattle, Washington.
"It's set in an interesting time in Seattle where there was a vibrant Red Light District, but there was also the suffrage movement, so there is this confluence of these two social pressures that they're swept up in. This mention of this boy kept popping up, especially when I stumbled across an article in the Seattle Times, that said someone would draw a baby as a prize. I just wanted to know more about this kid. I couldn't find anything out about this kid aside from his name and the orphanage that had donated him," explained Jamie ford.
The life of the little boy, named Ernest, was as a blank canvas to tell a tale of a time when Ford said everything and everyone was for sale. Ford paints the pages of his new book by moving back and forth between different chapters in the character's lives.
"I want readers to feel something. I want their hearts enlarged a little bit. Sometimes you almost to have to break their hearts a little bit and put the pieces back together hopefully in better working condition," described Ford.
The anticipated release of "Love and Other Consolation Prizes" comes just one week after news that the screenplay of his first novel, "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet," will be executive-produced by actor and activist George Takei.
"Working on the screenplay allowed me to go back and remove some of the redundancy and enhance some things and actually make it a better story. You don't often have the chance to go back and fix the things you want to fix, so it's a cool opportunity," said Ford.
Since his first book came out nearly a decade ago and has grown in popularity, readers have connected with Ford's writing in various ways, from touching moments to goofy ones.
"A very ripped dude had me sign his abs. I had never signed anyone's body parts. As often as I get these goofy, crazy hyper fans moments, I do get these touching moments, or something that their personal experience is mirrored in the book and they feel a deep personal connection," said Ford.
Ford lays out his latest work, research, and creation once again for readers to connect with, learn from, and enjoy.
He is taking his new book on tour throughout Montana and the northwest. You can see more details about his tour at his website, JamieFord.com.