‘Meet your author’ with Liz McGuire and Walter Anderson
Local authors Elizabeth McGuire and Walter Anderson have released a new book called, “WE.” We snagged a few minutes of time with McGuire to ask a few questions about her latest book and her life.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in Berkshire, England, and came to the U.S. to Southern California. I moved to Grass Valley in the 80s. Walter was born in Oakland, California. He moved to Texas in 2000. He came back to California when he was released from prison in 2019. Walter is an ex-felon.
How did you get into writing?
I saved all of Walter’s letters starting in 2003. I didn’t want to throw them away so I started typing them and continued to do so until he was released.
What is your favorite book? Or favorite authors?
Pauline Gedge, Christopher Moore, Bill O’Reilly, James Clavell, James Herriot, and the list goes on!
What is your book about?
Our book is called “WE, Walter and Elizabeth.” It’s a collection of letters that start in 2003 and end in 2019 from a man in prison written to a mail-order book company, Bud’s Art Books in Grass Valley. The writer, Walter Anderson, was asking for free or damaged art books. The original letter was received by me, Liz, a customer service representative. I wrote back to Walter, on a postage note attached to his letter, that we couldn’t send the art books he had requested. Walter replied to me to say “thank you for replying” because no one else had bothered to answer when he sent that request to other companies. That’s when the letters continued. They evolved into a pen-friend relationship, then into a friendship and now into a love story that continues to this day.
The main ingredients are humor, imagination and a look into one’s humanity in a nearly impossible situation. “WE” is a true love story. Walter is my “idiot savant.” His unique way of explaining his life behind bars, along with his constant fight with the Texas court system to prove his actual innocence.
What inspired you to write this book?
Walter’s letters, they were too good to just read and throw away. And I fell in love with the man.
What did you find most challenging about writing a book?
Once I started typing the letters I realized I couldn’t stop until Walter stopped writing them.
What is your key takeaway or message you hope readers find in your book?
That with Walter’s history not everything comes out of prison jaded and with a bad attitude. He has so much to offer in many ways with his personality and talents.
Where can people find your book?
It’s distributed by Ingram. It is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I’m also hoping book stores in this area will carry it. You might check across the pond, so to speak.
Please describe your perfect day.
Being with Walter every day, regardless of everything. And winning the lottery!
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