Friends in the writing world are so important.

October 12, 2022, I wrote a website post called The Good Heart of Butte. I imported it here and shared it to my Facebook page. It was about growing up in Butte, Montana, a well-known copper camp, and how it shaped me and my writing. Lois Paige Simenson aka Lolo Paige read it and wrote to me that she was another Butte writer. She lived in Alaska and graduated Butte High School the year before me. I didn’t know her in high school, although I knew many of her classmates.

I looked up Lolo Paige’s book, Alaska Spark, and bought a copy. It sat on my kindle for a while before I finally read it. It was excellent. When I looked closer and we started talking more, we hit it off big time.

We had so many similarities. Besides being from the same hometown, we both had worked firefighting. She was a professional, and I was a volunteer. We were both enchanted by the rugged outdoors. She lived in Alaska, and I wrote stories yearning for Alaska. We were both hard workers. We both had been writing for years and trying to break into the publishing world. We both struggled with the mining town belief that we couldn’t be more than the streets we grew up on.

My writing friendship with Lolo Paige was a blessing I didn’t even know I needed. She was a wealth of knowledge and absolutely generous with it. So like the Butte people that I wrote about in The Good Heart of Butte. She set up a book signing for us last year in Butte at Isle of Books and it was a huge success.

Butte people love Butte writers. While success seems so far away for so many of us in the mining town, whenever someone in the town succeeds in some small way, the whole town celebrates.

This year a new synchronicity happened. We both have new books that will be released this week. Lolo Paige’s romantic comedy, Irish Thunder, comes out today. And my book, Shed Girl, a crime novel, comes out tomorrow. Like always, she’s just a little ahead of me.

Check out our books and see what you think. She is funny, and I write a little more on the disturbing side. True daughters of the mining town, you can still see the Butte flavor in both of our books. 

Irish Thunder by Lolo Paige

Shed Girl: A Juliet French Mystery by Milana Marsenich

Shed Girl by Milana Marsenich

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