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Author Rebekah Anderson's "The Grand Promise"

Seattle-based writer discusses her novel on the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam

Seattle author Rebekah Anderson sat down with E.J. Iannelli in the KPBX studio to talk about her debut novel, The Grand Promise, ahead of two readings and talks she's giving in Spokane this week.

The Grand Promise is a fictional account of the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam in the 1930s and '40s and the wider effect that had on the region.

Anderson explained that the book's protagonist, Carter Price, was based to some extent on her own grandfather. The novel's flooded, relocated town of Kettle Rapids was based on Kettle Falls, WA.

The author also went into some detail about her research process, her chosen degree of historical accuracy versus fictionalization and the unexpected delights that emerged while she was writing. For example, she discussed why the character of Charlotte Powell became a favorite of hers and how an actual historical visit by President Roosevelt provided the basis for an engaging creative exercise.

Anderson will have a joint reading with local author Shawn Vestal at Liberty Park Library tomorrow (Wed., June 7) evening.

She will also talk about her writing as part of the Inland Northwest Special Collections Writing Tour on Thursday, June 8. That takes place at the Spokane Central Library.

Additional details about both events are at the Spokane Public Library website.

E.J. Iannelli is Spokane Public Radio's Arts and Music Director