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The original item was published from 6/1/2018 4:43:06 PM to 6/24/2018 12:05:05 AM.

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Posted on: June 5, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Meet the Author Sonja Mongar


Meet the Author Sonja Mongar

June 5, 2018 (Helena, MT)—Meet the Author, Sonja Mongar on Saturday, June 23rd from 11AM-1PM at Your Lewis & Clark Library as she presents Writing Real Life Into Fiction.”

When new journalist, Truman Capote, penned the true story of the murder of a Midwest farm family in his 1959 novel, In Cold Blood, he coined the term "faction" to explain his creative license in turning fact into fiction. Since then, writing real life into fiction is a rapidly evolving cross-genre trend with sub-genres such as autofiction (fusion of autobiography and fiction), or novoir (fusion of memoir and fiction,) among others.

Sonja Mongar, journalist, creative non-fiction writer and professor of English will share her own process of writing her newly-released novel entitled Two Spoons of Bitter. The story is a novoir-style, originally based on a diary she kept while employed at a drug and alcohol rehab providing services to people living with AIDS during the initial AIDS crisis in the South in the early '90s. Topics to include: genre characteristics, truth vs. fact, subjects vs. characters, plot vs. non-fiction narrative, writing race and gender, dialect in dialogue, point of view, legal/ethical issues, and method writing among others.

Two Spoons of Bitter: A story of love, betrayal and redemption by Sonja S. Mongar is the story of Art therapist Ella Donovan, who says good-bye for good to the alcoholic grandmother who raised her and the cold, Podunk Minnesota town she grew up in. She arrives in a charming, antebellum city of colorful bridges and gleaming beaches for a dream job working with teen addicts. But not all is as it seems in a place where the Confederate flag still flies over the downtown courthouse. Nearly unhinged by a boss who wants her to fail, Southern gentleman who aren't so gentlemanly and a corrupt social service system complicated by an escalating AIDS crisis, Ella struggles to find her footing. Just when she thinks she's mastered it all, family secrets threaten to uproot the very foundation of her identity. Two Spoons of Bitter explores the legacy of generations of betrayal and unfinished business. Ella must excavate her deepest wounds in order to redeem the past and heal her own life. Where do you run to forget your past?

Sonja S. Mongar, MFA is a fifth generation Montanan, she's been a traveler all her life which has made its imprint on the landscapes, characters, and dramas of her imagination. T?here will always be a train, a lost highway, a brooding river, and a character adrift in her stories.

Mongar has been a tenured Professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico, in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico where she "got schooled" on enduring friendships, the treachery of love, the language of ants and the art of hurricanes. She currently mentors writers in the Western Connecticut State Low Residency MFA in Creative and Professional Writing. A freelance journalist, photographer, blues harmonica player and occasional car auction driver, she currently writes in the Pacific Northwest, next to a river where she can hear the trains at night. Montana Book & Toy Company will be on hand for book purchase.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information on Mongar, visit



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