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Author Garth Stein Brings Tale Of Father-Son Relationship To Danbury

Author Garth Stein shows off his newest book, “A Sudden Light.” Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Author Garth Stein speaks at the Haas Library at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris

DANBURY, Conn. – Author Garth Stein brought to life his newest book, “A Sudden Light,” in a recent visit to Western Connecticut State University’s Haas Library in Danbury.

Stein, a New York Times bestselling author, spoke of his childhood experiences that inspired the book, which took over six years to complete.

“It’s hard writing a book. When you write a book, you are eventually going to experience a crisis, but that’s OK,” said Stein, who admitted he was relieved when the book was done.

“A Sudden Light,” published last August, tells the story of a family confronting long-buried secrets as a father, separated from his wife, who seeks to force his elderly grandfather into a nursing home and sell of the family mansion to solve his financial problems, according to the author's website.

When designing the story's main character, the 14-year-old son, Trevor, Stein said his inspiration came from his own son and his teenage friends. The character, Trevor, was inspired to bring in youth and innocence as the book circles around the relationship of a father and his son.

“As a father, we want our sons to be just like us, but better,” Stein said with a chuckle. “Tension will often arise, because the son wants to make his own image.”

After the book discussion, Stein answered questions, including one that asked how he came up with the location of the book, which was set on a huge mansion built of giant whole trees overlooking Seattle’s Puget Sound..

Stein said he drew on his own childhood experiences. He described a spot just down the hill from a large estate that overlooked Puget Sound where he would play with his army men toys and “burn stuff” as a child.

He said he would watch the rich folks go into their large estates, which is where he set his book. The story also includes a spirit lingering in the mansion whose agenda is at odds with the family plan. Stein said he has come across ghosts on occasion as well.

Bookstore owner Alice Hutchinson of Byrd’s Book in Bethel, which sponsored the event, introduced Stein to the audience.

“It is so nice to be a small independent owned bookstore that works with the community and authors all around,” said Hutchinson.

Stein, who is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker, has published six books, including a children’s tale titled “Enzo Races in the Rain.”

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