In October of 1989, Maureen O’Leary was a student at UC Santa Cruz, a “cranky nineteen-year-old with very few friends, very little passion for anything or anyone.” At 5:03 on October 17, she was at her job at the Ace Hardware store in downtown Santa Cruz when the Loma Prieta earthquake struck and the building collapsed. She ducked under a desk and was spared: several other people in the same building were not. The event changed her instantly, and inspired the fictional narrative of her newly published novel The Ghost Daughter (Coffeetown Press,) in which the earthquake triggers an aftershock of discovery for two mothers and a long-ago abandoned daughter. Advance praise for The Ghost Daughter includes this from National Book Award finalist Karen Bender: “Maureen O’Leary excavates her characters’ hearts with precise honesty, exploring the ways connections between mothers and daughters, friends and lovers stretch, break, endure. A beautiful and moving book.” Maureen is the Stories on Stage Sacramento featured writer for July, and you can read her harrowing account of survival in her blog https://maureenolearyauthor.com/2016/07/01/the-day-i-died/. She’s also the author of the novels How to be Manly and The Arrow, She won Heyday Books’ Sacramento Valley Writing Contest for Poetry, and her short stories and poetry appear in Esopus, Night Train Journal, Brackish Vol. 2, Revolution John, Prick of the Spindle, The Gold Man Review, and in Shade Mountain Press’ anthology The Female Complaint: Tales of Unruly Women. She’s been featured in Sacramento Magazine, teaches at Christian Brothers High School, and lives in Sacramento with her husband and two daughters
Appearing with Maureen is editor and fiction writer Krista Minard. Krista’s short story “Resurgence” focuses on an earthquake of a more subtle kind: a memory that haunts a mother, who can’t separate it from fears for her pre-teen daughter. . Since 1994, Krista has been editor of Sacramento Magazine and of several bridal publications. As a fiction writer, her short stories and essays have been published in Susurrus, Paper Wings and Soul of the Narrator. She attended the Squaw Valley Community of Writers fiction workshop in 2011. She lives in Folsom with her husband, two nearly-grown daughters and two black cats.
Reading an excerpt from The Ghost Daughter will be Sacramento actress Elise Marie Hodge, a Stories on Stage favorite and owner of EMH Productions. a company dedicated to putting
time and energy into creative work as a producer, director, actor, and writer to
help facilitate opportunities for other artists in these same arenas. Elise has
produced, directed, acted and written over 20 shows for the stage in
Sacramento for the past six years, having last been seen in Goodbye Freddy by
Elizabeth Diggs at the Geery Theatre. She is currently in production for an
original work titled These Lonesome Roads by Dan Fagan for September of
2016. She has split her time equally between Los Angeles and Sacramento,
receiving awards along the way for her efforts in theatre, TV and film. She has
been a member of the 68 Cent Crew Theatre Company in LA for the last 10
Victoria Goldblatt will read “Resurgence.” She’s been a Sacramento performer for over 20 years in a variety of films, commercials, community theater and voice overs for TV and radio.. The former Casting Director for Stories on Stage in Sacramento, she was a member of the Steering Committee for the Sacramento’s Playwrights Collaborative for the past seven years.
Stories on Stage Sacramento at the Sacramento Poetry Center, Friday July 29. Doors open at 7PM, readings begin at 7:30. A $10 donation is suggested.
Now in its seventh season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to bring the best in literary fiction to a growing Sacramento audience. Featured writers for 2015 included Tobias Wolff, Elena Mauli Shapiro, Sharma Shields, Ann Packer, Karen Bender, Kathryn Ma, T. Geronimo Johnson, Bonnie ZoBell, Adam Johnson, and Naomi Williams. The lineup for 2016 includes Anthony Marra, Vendela Vida, Kim Stanley Robinson, Lori Ostlund, Mary Volmer, Maureen O’Leary, Jodi Angel, Bonnie Jo Campbell, and, in a new partnership with the Los Rios Community Colleges, an evening devoted to the best writing from their prize-winning literary magazines. As a completely volunteer organization, supported by donations, we’re proud of the fine writers we’ve brought to Sacramento, some of them for the first time, and we’re excited to continue to present more fine writing read by actors to Sacramento lovers of literature.