Tag Archives: The Last of the Blacksmiths

Novel-writing grit

The Last of the Blacksmiths (Coffeetown Press, 2014)My book is out in stores and online. Reviews are starting to come in on GoodReads, at Morganti Writes and on Amazon.

My friend Jo said the nicest things on Facebook: “If you aren’t reading The Last of the Blacksmiths by new author, Claire Gebben, please put it on your must-read list. First of all, she takes care of the reader, offering that seated-by-the-fire-in-a-favorite-tattered-sweater kind of comfort. Second, the story is so beautifully crafted and descriptive, it reminds me of the days when families eagerly gathered in the living room around the radio on Sunday night, waiting for the next installment of a beloved program. Simply put, this is storytelling at its best. Bravo, Claire!”

Thanks, Jo! And Charlotte, and Kim! Last week, I wrote an article called Blacksmith Basics for the Sharing Stories segment of Northwest Prime Time. Writing the article, I recalled those demanding days of blacksmithing, the hammering and red-hot glowing metal, the grit and sore muscles. It occurred to me how the path to publication, the patience and endurance and faith required, is not such a far cry from the sweat and grit and discipline required to craft a useful, beautiful object out of metal.

When I think about it, that’s no doubt the case for all creative endeavors–if it’s not a challenge, it probably isn’t worth doing. And oh how grand it is to finally hold the book in my hands.

The Last of the Blacksmiths

I am pleased and excited to announce that my historical fiction novel The Last of the Blacksmiths will be published by Coffeetown Press February 15, 2014.

The Last of the Blacksmiths is historical fiction about a 19th century blacksmith who comes to America from the Bavarian Rhineland inspired by Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans, dreaming of flourishing wilderness, freedom and prosperity, only to meet with indentured servitude, anti-immigrant bigotry, and civil war, and to devote his life to a livelihood that, ultimately, will vanish.

Praise for The Last of the Blacksmiths
“… the writing quality was superb, the historical and geographic detail utterly convincing, the characters well-drawn, and the dialogue persuasive … Claire Gebben has extraordinary promise. Her prose is quite brilliant; I fully lived within her world.”
– William Dietrich, Pulitzer-Prize winning author


Writing this 19th century German immigrant’s tale has been quite a journey. (For more background, see The Next Big Thing interview.)

And that journey continues. In light of this new title (the working title was “Harm’s Way”–former heading of this blog) and in preparation for a February book launch, this web site will be under construction for a few weeks. It might look different each time you visit, but eventually, the dust will settle on a shiny new look.

Meanwhile, happy summer, and thanks to all my friends and family who have lifted me up and helped me get to this milestone!