In the writing room right now ...

In the writing room right now ... I have taken down the brown "butcher" paper that held ideas, photos, drawings, and my hand-drawn maps and plot outlines for the past five or six books. I've placed all those items into three-ring binders, and cleared the deck for paintings and photographs that involve courage, as I move forward in GHOSTKEEPER, the new novel set in Lyndonville, Vermont. My 1850 Vermont adventure THE LONG SHADOW is under contract with Five Star/Cengage -- I will give you a publication date as soon as I know! Scribbling lots of poems, too. And there's a possible route to publication of the "Vermont Nancy Drew" novel I built on Wattpad (see right-hand column). Yes, I guess I do like multi-tasking! How about you?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Darkness Under the Water: Now on tour


It's been great being "on tour" in northeastern Vermont in the past week. From bookstores to a nifty local inn and restaurant to an impromptu college TV news interview, the thread running through all of this has been people who care about good stories, and about Vermont. I've heard some great ideas for future books, too.

In case you're not up on the book itself yet, Molly Ballou's risky adventure in 1930 Vermont, THE DARKNESS UNDER THE WATER -- well, there's a description, along with discussion questions for classrooms and book groups, and ideas for librarians, at the web site: www.BethKanell.com.

Come say hello in New Jersey, at Saturday's meet-and-greet at Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, 1 to 2 pm!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Where's the Water, and What's Underneath?


Here's a map of the Connecticut River as it curls through Waterford today, with the lakes formed by the two Waterford-area dams (connecting Vermont and New Hampshire). Until 1930, there was no lake at all. The Darkness Under the Water tells Molly Ballou's story of the dangers involved in Waterford, Vermont, at that moment.

What Is Historical Fiction, Anyway?

A librarian in New Jersey told me this story last week:

She created a "book fair" in her library, with books laid out on tables and the tables labeled with signs for the kinds of books there -- like biographies, mysteries, and historical fiction. At the end of the day, she realized that the students hadn't chose ANY books from the "historical fiction" table.

So the next year, she changed the label to "Action, Adventure, and Drama." Yes indeed, the students captured books from that table after all!

I like it.

Yes, There Are Books Available November 8!

I'm excited that Boxcar & Caboose, which is hosting the "prepublication" event for The Darkness Under the Water on Saturday November 8 at 3 p.m. (Railroad Street, St. Johnsbury) has special permission from Candlewick Press to release copies of the book at the event. So if you're looking for the very earliest copies this week, now's your chance! See you there.