Sustainability/ Environmental Communications Specialist:
Angela Adrar - (202) 439-7724 - firstname.lastname@example.org
PRESS RELEASE: 07.01.09
New Book offers up a cross-country bicycle ride of resilience, hope, and fun.
Stories of the Road explores America’s past to help chart our environmental future.
(Washington, DC ) – In her new novel, Stories of the Road (Inkwater Press 2009),
environmental lawyer Marie Sansone takes us back to the 1970s on a good-humored
American road trip. Interwoven with Native American lore, pioneer history, and
environmental tales, Stories of the Road is sure to entertain armchair travelers and
impress history buffs.
When the main characters, college students Tom Steadman and Kara Portola, set off on
a lark to bicycle cross-country during the 1976 Bicentennial Summer, they have no idea
what they are getting into. Starting out from the Oregon Coast, Tom and Kara travel
through extraordinarily beautiful country – the Pacific Northwest, Northern Rockies, Great
Plains, and Great Lakes Region. Every day brings a new adventure — drenching rains,
steep climbs, encounters with bears, harsh desert terrain, the Teton Dam collapse, a
mountain snowstorm, stampeding buffalo, plains headwinds, and dangerous criminals.
The novel also explores the emotional experience of a long-distance trip, and the effects of the disappointments,
fears, exhaustion, jealousies, and elation on the characters’ relationship.
Sansone says that she wrote the book to encourage people to “go outdoors and enjoy this beautiful planet” and, in
doing so, “to think about whether there might be some way to stand in better relation to the earth and its
inhabitants, and to do so with resilience and hope.”
When asked why she selected 1976 as the timeframe for her novel, Sansone explains that America experienced its
first bicycle boom just before then. These days, bikes are back and they are cool, judging by the number of online
biking blogs and forums. Even the old 10-speeds and vintage camping gear are acquiring a renewed following. In
fact, the headlines from the 1970s are not all that different from today’s: an unpopular war, an energy crisis,
economic recession, and the rise of environmentalism as a social movement. As America struggles with the
consequences of climate change, Sansone says that stories about our natural heritage can help inspire individual
response, providing a foundation for creating a sustainable future.
Sansone resides in Washington, DC. She has broad experience in environmental,
natural resources, and land use law, and previously served as acting director of the
District’s Environmental Health Administration. Sansone completed two cross-
country bicycling tours during the 1970s, served on a volunteer bike patrol, and is
an outdoor enthusiast.
Stories of the Road is available in paperback and e-book format through
www.Inkwaterbooks.com, www.Amazon.com, and online bookstores.
For a review copy or to arrange an interview, book-signing, or book talk with Sansone, please contact
Communications Specialist Angela Adrar on (202) 439-7724 or at email@example.com.
You may also follow the author online at http://mariesansone.blogspot.com, view her Facebook page at
www.Facebook.com (Marie Sansone), receive updates from http://twitter.com/talespinning, or visit her website,
http://sites.google.com/site/storiesoftheroad, for events and updates.
Author’s Biographical Sketch
Stories of the Road
The bicycling adventures in Stories of the Road are based upon the author’s bicycle travels in 1976 and
1978, experience bicycle-commuting and as a member of a volunteer bicycle patrol on the Mount
Vernon Bike Trail, and years of telling stories around campfires.
Marie Sansone graduated from the George Washington University with a
B.A. in Philosophy, and from Stanford Law School, with a J.D. She has
extensive experience in environmental, natural resources, and land use
Ms. Sansone previously served as acting deputy director of the District of
Columbia’s Environmental Health Administration and as chief of staff for
the District’s HIV/AIDS Administration. She grew up in Syracuse, New
Author: Marie Sansone
York, and is an outdoor enthusiast.
Ms. Sansone’s other publications include:
• Who Runs the Rivers? Dams and Decisions in the New West (Stanford Environmental Law Society
1983), co-authored with B. Andrews, foreword by Senator D. Moynihan, non-fiction, water resources
• Citizens’ Guide to Zoning in the District of Columbia, published by the D.C. Bar Environment, Energy,
and Natural Resources Section in 2003;
• African Odyssey, 18 Stanford Lawyer 86 (Fall 1983), an essay on a trans-Africa truck trip; and
• Grand Canyon Prayer, The Grand Canyon River Runner (Fall 2006) (poem).
Her author’s blog on http://mariesansone.blogspot.com provides a place to share resources and ideas
on the environment, outdoor recreation, and American history and culture; and to explore how the
appreciation and enjoyment of nature can further environmental action.
Ms. Sansone is available for book talk and book-signing events. She would be happy to meet with
book clubs and other groups to discuss Stories of the Road and the environmental topics covered in her
To learn more about Stories of the Road,
visit the: website: http://sites.google.com/site/storiesoftheroad, the author’s blog: http://mariesansone.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/talespinning or Facebook page: www.Facebook.com (Marie Sansone).
STORIES of the ROAD – A Novel by Marie Sansone
(Inkwater Press 2009) (Available Now through Major Online Retailers)
PART ONE. After Kara Portola learns of “Bikecentennial,” an organization planning a 4,250 mile ride across
the United States as part of America’s 1976 Bicentennial celebration, she dares her boyfriend, Tom Steadman, to
bicycle cross-country. Much to her surprise, Tom accepts the challenge. They decide, however, that they will plan
their own route. With limited experience, no time to prepare, and little money, they fly from Washington, D.C., to
Portland, Oregon, to begin their three-month-long trip.
Tom and Kara spend their first two weeks on the road learning how to handle their fully-loaded bicycles and get
along. They struggle through difficult conditions along the coast, through the Cascade Range, and across the eastern
Oregon desert. Tom has a near accident when a logging truck passes him. Kara takes a bad fall, ending up with a
PART TWO. At the Oregon-Idaho border, Tom and Kara cross the Snake River, to their thinking, the
beginning of the “Wild, Wild West.” They bicycle through extraordinarily beautiful country — the Northern Rockies,
Craters of the Moon, Yellowstone, the Black Hills, Great Plains, and Upper Midwest. They encounter stories from the
Oregon - California - Mormon Pioneer Trails, and become spooked upon reading the Sioux legend of Sica Hollow.
Nearly every day brings a new adventure — steep climbs, nude hot springs, bears and bear lore, long desert rides, the
Teton Dam collapse, a mountain snowstorm, stampeding buffalo, and extreme plains headwinds. While taking a
layover, Tom asks Kara to telephone home for money.
PART THREE. After a diversion to the Twin Cities to pick up the money wire, Tom and Kara make their way
to Wisconsin. They spend a perfect summer afternoon tubing the Apple River. The next day begins with roller-coaster
hills and a dog chase. Later, with a local festival underway, the Ladysmith police send the bicyclists out of town to
camp. During the night, Tom and Kara hear strange noises. Come morning, Tom realizes that he has lost his wallet,
containing nearly all their money. They return to town and, this time, Tom telephones home for money. Towards
evening, they set out again on the lonely highway. Two drug dealers repeatedly stop and threaten the bicyclists, finally
ramming a car into them. The police arrive and take the bicyclists to the hospital. Tom and Kara are troubled by their
memories and the DA’s reluctance to prosecute the drug dealers for the assault.
Upon recovering, Tom and Kara travel by bus to Green Bay, where Tom’s uncle helps them repair their bikes. They are
soon back, out on the road. With Tom’s bike continuing to break down and little time left, the fun has gone out of
their trip. Along the shores of Lake Huron, they decide to end their trip.
Told with good humor, Stories of the Road is replete with 1970s pop culture, Americana, and Native American lore.
Stories provides an alternative vacation, an escape from everyday worries and humdrum.
It is a journey played out against the sweep of American history, across a landscape of resilience and hope. – Author,
Follow book events and updates on the author’s
website: http://sites.google.com/site/storiesoftheroad blog: http://mariesansone.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/talespinning or Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com (Marie Sansone).
a novel by
Inkwater Press 2009
1976 - The Bicentennial Summer. SALES INFORMATION
Two friends. A bicycle ride across America. Title
Stories of the Road
Extraordinarily beautiful country — the
Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, Author
Great Plains, and Great Lakes Region.
Good adventures, lots of fun, all kinds of ISBN
stories – and a few ghosts. 978-1-59299-420-5
When college students Tom Steadman and Kara Retail Price
Portola set off on a lark — aiming to bicycle from $27.95
the Oregon Coast to Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore, and then on home to
the East Coast -- they have no idea what they are getting into. Genre
Between battling the elements and sharing treacherous highways with big trucks,
wild animals, and dangerous criminals, Tom and Kara are determined to see Page Count
America during its celebration of the 200th anniversary of the signing of the 480 pages
Declaration of Independence. As their route intersects the old pioneer trails,
they delve into the country’s rich, sometimes dark, history and encounter a Trim Size
spectrum of colorful characters. 6x9
Told with good humor, Stories of the Road is replete with 1970s pop culture, Binding
Americana, and Native American lore. Stories explores the elation of outdoor Paperback
adventure travel, along with the disappointments, fears, petty jealousies, and
exhaustion, as well as the intractable problem of “headwinds in the soul.”
How to Order
Stories provides an alternative vacation, an escape from everyday worries and
humdrum. It is a journey played out against the sweep of American history, For individual orders:
across a landscape of resilience and hope. www.inkwaterbooks.com
Marie Sansone is an outdoor enthusiast, environmental lawyer, www.BarnesandNoble.com
and former director of the District of Columbia Environmental and other online retailers
Health Administration. The bicycling adventures in Stories of the
Road are based upon two of her cross-country bicycling trips in the
1970s, bicycle commuting, and serving as a member of a volunteer
For wholesale orders:
bike patrol, along with years of telling stories around campfires. Contact Ingram Book Group
Follow Marie at http://sites.google.com/site/storiesoftheroad , n sone www.ingrambook.com
http://mariesansone.blogspot.com, Facebook or Twitter. Marie Sa
1970s Outdoor Adventure Cycling
Baker & Taylor
Camping Nature Historical Dimensions & Perspectives www.btol.com
Native American Road Trips National Parks 1-800-775-1800
Nostalgia Americana hope Environmental Questions? Contact Communications Specialist:
Angela Adrar at 439 - 7724
Conservation Journeys fun Green recreation firstname.lastname@example.org