If you are looking for something fun to do to get you into the Spirit of Christmas, please consider joining us this evening at 7 pm at the St. Francis de Sales Church Hall in North Kingstown, RI, for a radio play production of Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The performance, which is free and open to everyone, will include the choir beautifully singing many much-beloved Christmas carols, too. After the show, there will be a reception with homemade Christmas treats. This will be my first (and possibly last!) attempt at being a cast member of a theatrical production, so please come out and share the fun!
Thank you to Christiann and everyone at the Rockport Library for hosting a wonderful book event on Thursday! Ellen Alden, author of Yours Faithfully, was absolutely delightful and her presentation was fascinating. Who knew a bundle of Civil War letters could become the basis for an entire novel!
The library audience listened very carefully during my presentation about the narrators for Frozen Voices and then asked great questions afterward. Thanks!
And, a special thank you to all of the members of the Heinzmann/Raymond family, who made the trip to the library to see this presentation. Your support means a lot to me!
Tonight, Ellen Alden and I will be appearing at 7 pm at the Rockport Public Library (17 School Street, Rockport, Massachusetts) as part of their From Inspiration to Publication program. Ellen and I will be discussing our writing processes and sharing how our first books were published. The presentation is free and open to the public. Please stop by!
Last night, I was fortunate enough to be included in Fairfield University's MFA Authors Book Fair, held on campus at the Kelley Center. Joseph Reynolds, Ben Fine, and I read from our novels and then were joined by other alumni authors and guests for book signings and fellowship. The refreshments were delicious.
Thank you to Sonya Huber and Elizabeth Hastings for organizing the event and thanks to all the attendees for coming!
My thanks to everyone at the North Attleborough Historical Society for a fun event Monday night. They invited me to their monthly meeting and then were a great audience while I spoke about George McVay, the captain of the doomed Steamship Larchmont and a narrator for Frozen Voices. One of the meeting attendees was even related to someone who had perished in the disaster!
I love doing book talks!
Last night, I had the opportunity to appear live on WEMF Radio, based in Boston. Max Bowen, the radio show's host and producer, and I spent a fun half-hour discussing Frozen Voices, my writing process, and the two new novels that I am currently working on. This was my first time appearing on a live radio show and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Thanks so much to Max and the folks at ARIA (Association of Rhode Island Authors), for making the interview possible!
Earlier this week, I received boxes in the mail from New Rivers Press that contained 50 copies of Frozen Voices. (Thanks, Nayt!) No matter how many times I receive shipments of my books, I will never get over the joy of slitting open the boxes and seeing all those copies of a book that I wrote. It gives me such a thrill! Now, if I could just entice a literary agent to get excited about one of my other novels!
Thanks to all of the wonderful family and friends in Westville, Illinois, who made my trip out there such an enjoyable one! On Tuesday, September 7th, I gave a book talk at the Westville Public Library, talking about Frozen Voices narrator, Anna Jensen, reading two brief excerpts from the novel, and answering some great questions from the audience. Quite a few folks turned out for the event, including some family members I haven't seen in years. Afterward, my Aunt Patty was kind enough to invite us all back to her lovely home for some yummy chocolate cake--a perfect end to a great day!
I spent this past weekend at the Hollihock Writers' Conference in New Bedford, Massachusetts and had a WONDERFUL time! The presenters were clear and concise, the workshops were helpful and informative, and the attendees were friendly and very interested in lending a hand to fellow-writers. Congratulations to Dominic and the other folks who organized the conference for a job well done. I definitely plan to attend again next year (the last weekend in August) and strongly encourage other writers to come too!
Thanks to Myra, Jennifer, Stacey, and all of the others at Barrington Books Retold in Garden City, Cranston, Rhode Island, for a great book event last night. We discussed the history contained in Frozen Voices--focusing on narrator, Sadie Golub--and then I read two brief excerpts from the novel. The bookstore is fabulous (it has a HUGE section full of children's books and educational games) and I greatly enjoyed the event. Thanks a million!
If you are looking for something fun to do this evening, please join us for a Bingo Night fund-raiser for the Davisville Free Library! It is being held in the St. Francis de Sales Church Hall on School Street in North Kingstown, from 7 to 9 pm tonight. A bingo card for 9 games only costs $20 at the door, there will be cash pay-outs for every game, and light refreshments (desserts and sodas) will be sold. So, come spend your Thursday evening with us and help support one of the best libraries around!
Check out the library website for more information:http://davisvillefreelibrary.org/
Chris and his band, the South County Rounders, are playing a free gig at the North Kingstown Free Library tomorrow night! Wednesday, July 26th @ 6:30 p.m. at 100 Boone Street, North Kingstown, RI. If the weather is nice, the concert will be on the library's front lawn (bring lawn chairs and bug spray). If it rains, the show will move inside, to the library's conference room. Come on down and hear some excellent bluegrass/old timey music!
A huge thanks to Susan and the rest of the folks at Island Bound Bookstore on Block Island for making us feel so welcomed for my book presentation/reading there on Saturday! The audience was enthusiastic, the weather was beautiful, and we all had an absolutely wonderful time! This time, I concentrated my presentation on Sadie Golub (one of the narrators of Frozen Voices) and on her connection to Block Island.
After the reading, we discussed the possibility of me doing another presentation on Block Island, in February on the 111th anniversary of the Larchmont Disaster, this time at the Island Free Library. Stay tuned for more specific information. Should be fun being on the "Block" off-season!
I hope you all are having a wonderful summer, too!
After a very enjoyable winter and spring of doing book presentations/signings at local libraries, it seems I now am moving on to other venues. On Saturday, June 24th, I will be doing a reading/signing at the Island Bound Bookstore on Block Island. What a great opportunity to see this beautiful island that played such a large role in the Larchmont tragedy!
I've also been asked to appear at two other bookstores on the mainland (so far!), but we've haven't finalized the dates/times, yet. Please check my website again soon for further details.
And enjoy the summer!
Saturday, April 29th, is Independent Bookseller's Day! So, please support your local bookstore by going out tomorrow and picking up a copy or two of a classic, an old favorite, or a soon-to-be new favorite book! Check out this website for more details: http://www.indiebookstoreday.com/
Thank you to Maggie Holmes and the other good folks at the Richards Memorial Library in North Attleboro, MA, for a great book event last night. The venue was very inviting, the audience asked great questions, and the local television station even showed up to tape the presentation! (Stay tuned for information about how to access the program on YouTube.) One audience member was kind enough to bring along her collection of antique Block Island postcards, many of which featured scenes related to the Larchmont Disaster. I'd seen some of these on-line but this was my first view of the actual post cards. What a treat!
A few days ago, a friend called me to say that he'd visited Brown Bookstore and had seen Frozen Voices prominently displayed at the cash register. Chris was nice enough to stop by the store and snap a few photos for me, which I have included with this blog. Check it out!
Thanks to Brown Bookstore and to all of the independent bookstores in the area that are carrying Frozen Voices for me. If any of you readers are in need of another copy of the novel, please stop by one of these stores and pick up one. It would be great for us to help support local businesses!
On Friday, I drove around Rhode Island and Eastern Connecticut and dropped off copies of Frozen Voices at most of the independent bookshops in the area. It was an amazingly warm and sunny day--I think the temperature topped 60 degrees by mid-afternoon--and I really enjoyed getting out and seeing beautiful Southern New England. I drove from North Kingstown to Newport to Middletown to Barrington to Providence to Cranston to Mystic (CT) to Westerly to Wakefield and then back to North Kingstown: 160 miles total. With all the stops I made, the trip took about six hours. Me in my Camry, singing along to Van Morrison's Greatest Hits.
Even more than the trip, though, I enjoyed meeting and speaking with all of the people who worked in the various bookstores. There is something special about folks who spend their days surrounded by great literature, past and present. Each bookseller accepted a few copies of the Frozen Voices from me and most suggested that I contact them soon about setting up readings/signings at their stores. I'm sure I'll enjoy getting out and sharing the book with different audiences.
I've posted the names of the bookstores on a new page of this website: Where to Buy: Stores. If you get the chance, please stop by one of them and support your local, independent bookseller. Also, keep an eye on my "Appearances" page for listings of upcoming readings.
And the journey continues!
Tonight, I did a book talk/reading at the North Kingstown Free Library, right here in town. A roomful of people turned out to hear about Millard Franklin, one of my four narrators. I did a slide presentation, read a brief excerpt from the book, and then answered everyone’s questions. The audience consisted of a lot of folks I knew but also a lot of new faces, too. And everyone asked such great questions! Thanks to the North Kingstown Arts Council for sponsoring the event and to the library for inviting me to participate. I had a blast!
Actually, I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve been enjoying doing these presentations/readings. I was afraid that I’d be nervous or self-conscious. And I am…for about 15 seconds. And then people start asking questions and I can see they’re interested in the novel’s story and so I forget all about myself and just enjoy the lively discussions. These events really are a lot of fun!
Chris and I are in Washington, DC, attending the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP)’s annual conference, along with 15,000 other writers. It is absolutely mind-boggling to see so many aspiring authors all together in one venue. The conference, itself, is being held at the Washington Convention Center, but various activities take place off-site, at hotels and restaurants in the DC area.
Like tonight’s reading…
Fairfield University’s MFA Program and New Rivers Press sponsored a reception/reading for their recently-published authors at the Mandu, an upscale Korean restaurant on K Street NW. The food was delicious and the company was wonderful. I finally got to meet Nayt from New Rivers Press, the very patient man who oversaw the editing of Frozen Voices. And he was just as nice as I thought he would be, too!
I did a brief reading from Frozen Voices and then about a half-dozen other authors read from their newly-published books, too: Matt Winkler, Elizabeth Searle, and others. Really good stuff! Although it was a bit noisy in the restaurant, everyone in the loft listened attentively and applauded enthusiastically. A lot of fun!
The AWP Conference was amazing: thousands of writers attending hundreds of seminars. Chris and I spent much of our time at the Bookfair, the huge room with all of the tables/stalls for all of the schools, publishers, and other organizations that wanted to distribute information and sell books. I spent a few hours signing copies of Frozen Voices at both the Fairfield University MFA booth and the New Rivers Press booth. I really enjoyed talking to people about their own writing projects, too…so many innovative story concepts!
While in DC, Chris and I went out with some good friends to celebrate my birthday at a Cuban restaurant. The meal was delicious and then I got to blow out a candle stuck into some yummy rice pudding. How do you beat that?