Guest blogger Kathleen Shoop on her award-winning new book!

Today I’m very excited to present my first guest blogger. She’s an award-winning, bestselling author, as well as a colleague and friend. She will also be one of the authors featured with me on Monday, June 4th at the Rip Roaring Reads author Shindig forum. Please welcome the very talented Kathie Shoop!

Thanks so much, Bonnie, for having me to your blog.

Wonderful to have you here! I’m so eager to hear about your book After the Fog, which won an IPPY Silver Medal Award and the Indie Excellence Book Award for Literary Fiction!

After the Fog was a fantastic opportunity for me to explore many different layers and elements that figure into vintage American Steel Town living. The novel is set in 1948 during one of America’s worst environmental/industrial disasters. The town of Donora sits in a horseshoe curve created by a river that fed the three miles of mills that were the draw for much of its population.

Rising up from the valley where the mills stretched across the land are steep mountainsides that created the walls that trapped the mill gasses during the “five days of fog.” A temperature inversion essentially put a lid over the valley and kept the smoke and toxins from escaping for five days.

Donorans were accustomed to fog and smog—the sight of billowing smoke meant there was money being made. For previously dirt-poor, repressed immigrants, the promise of upward mobility was a powerful lure and a reason to turn away from thoughts that perhaps the smoke was not all that healthy.

Donora was full to bursting with strong men and gritty women who were incredibly proud of what their steel products built the world over. They had supplied the war with essential materials and girded the pre and post-war American infrastructure that we still see in evidence today. Donorans wanted the best for their children and at that time the best included going to college and finding a way to “own,” one’s life completely. It’s a subtle, but useful bit of a conflict—a love/hate relationship with the mills.

It’s this backdrop that I set my fictional Pavlesic family against. Rose, a public health nurse, mother and wife is the main character. She is hard to like for some readers, but she loves her family fiercely. She just doesn’t know how to let that love totally out into the world. She harbors secret “sins” that she can’t let go of and it’s during the smog that she finds she’s not the only one hiding things.

Like all good stories, the plot thickens and things get worse than imaginable. But, After the Fog is a hopeful story at its heart. With all that’s difficult in life, this Pavlesic family finds a way to do more than just survive. They find a way to grow and come together as they never had before. Donorans were a lot of things, but they were tough.

The “five days of fog,” is the event that was the impetus for the development of the EPA and the Clean Air Act of 1955. It’s something that is still remembered today in Donora—both for good and bad. It was such an honor to have eyewitnesses describe the experience and I can only hope I did the town justice in the book.

Thanks again, Bonnie!

Sounds like a wonderful book and such an interesting story.  I’m looking forward to reading it!

After the Fog is the second novel by bestselling Kindle author Kathleen Shoop. Her debut novel, The Last Letter, garnered multiple awards (IPPY Gold medal, Indie Excellence Book Awards Finalist, and International Book Awards Finalist). A Language Arts Coach with a Ph.D. in Reading Education, Kathleen lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

You can learn more about Kathie and her literary ventures here:





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