Ep77: The Simple Scrapbooking Podcast – What Is Oral History? An Interview with Novelist Earlene Fowler

by Lain Ehmann on May 29, 2013


ep77 Simple Scrapbooking podcast - Lain Ehmann interviews novelist Earlene Fowler on the topic of memory and oral history. A must-listen for all everyday scrapbookers!What’s oral history?

If you are an everyday scrapbooker…

A “Project Life-r…”

A your story matters type…

then you are documenting your oral history. I was first acquainted with the concept by one of my favorite mystery writers, Earlene Fowler. Earlene writes a captivating series about her protagonists, Benni Harper, who is a curator of a folk art museum on the California central coast. Yes, she solves mysteries — but she also works to provide others with the opportunities and the encouragement to document their stories, whether it be through quilting, woodworking, or other handiwork.

When I was re-reading one of my favorites in the series, Sunshine and Shadow, I realized that Earlene had the soul of a scrapbooker – so I reached out to see if she might be interested in an interview. To my surprise, she’s a scrapbooker! (I shouldn’t have been surprised… she has all the characteristics including a love of personal history and a great sense of humor!).

In this in-depth interview, we talk about:

  • The definition of oral history, and how we are all charged with the responsibility to capture our own pieces of history
  • How Earlene’s books serve as a scrapbook of sorts of her own life
  • What quilting and scrapbooking have in common
  • How Facebook just might be giving the world the wrong idea of what life is like in the 21st Century…
  • …and more!

Resources and Links from this Episode:


Earlene’s Blog

The first Benni Harper Book, Fool’s Puzzle

Sunshine and Shadow

boston strong

Boston Strong stamp Only $8 and Hero Arts is producing this stamp at no cost — THANK YOU!

Lain’s Facebook page

Thanks for listening!


P.S. What book first got you thinking about the importance of history and documenting your story? I have to agree with Earlene – The “Little House” books had me at the Big Woods. 🙂


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