Backwards to Oregon was an important milestone in my personal journey as a writer. It was the first original novel that I wrote in English. When it became the “story of the year” on The Athenaeum in 2007, I received hundreds of e-mails with feedback from readers. With that kind of encouragement, I took the first tentative steps toward publication. Even though I had written other novels before, Backwards to Oregon was the first book I published. I will never forget how it felt to hold a copy of it in my hands for the first time.
So it’s no wonder that Backwards to Oregon still holds a special place in my heart. It seems Luke and Nora’s story resonated with readers too. To this day, many readers write to tell me that Backwards to Oregon is one of their favorite novels.
When I switched publishers in 2012, I started to reread my old novels to prepare them for republication. I quickly realized that I didn’t want to republish Backwards to Oregon as it was. While I still love the characters and think Backwards to Oregon holds a story worth telling, I found many little—and not so little—things that needed to be changed. I have a lot more experience than I had six years ago and, hopefully, fewer bad habits.
I also added four or five new scenes that were missing in the first edition and that give us more insight into the characters.
So after many months of rewriting, revising, and editing, Backwards to Oregon once again represents an important milestone: it’s the first of my earlier novels republished by Ylva Publishing.
We added one of the “Oregon” short stories, A Rooster’s Job, to the book to give readers a glance into the Hamiltons’ lives after the end of Backwards to Oregon.
The other stories (Grasping at Straws, The Blue Hour, A Rooster’s Job, The Christmas Oak, and The Art of Pretending), along with Swept Away, a new short story about the Hamiltons, will soon be published in an anthology titled Beyond the Trail.
Backwards to Oregon is now available through Smashwords and through Amazon, and it will soon be available from many other online bookstores and as a paperback.
My publisher, Ylva Publishing, is giving away a free e-book of Backwards to Oregon. Head over to Ylva’s blog to participate in the giveaway.
I hope you enjoy the revised and expanded edition.