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?

Friday, April 30, 2010

Another Reason for Reading Historical Fiction

"Never again" -- we share the history and literature of the Holocaust with teens as well as adults, knowing that the health and heart of our world depend on learning the lessons of our past. Teens today often work their own way through Holocaust fiction as well as memoirs, seeking insight.

Many New Englanders have now forgotten that in the United States in the early 1900s, the scientific enthusiasms of genetics had branched into eugenics.  Social and political movements embraced the possibilities of "improving" Americans through encouraging the "fit" to have babies, and the "unfit" to submit to sterilization. The Darkness Under the Water (Candlewick, Nov. 2008) opens the door to this period through well-researched historical fiction, as 16-year-old Molly Ballou finds her family threatened in 1930 because of her Abenaki (Native American) heritage. Vermont was among 31 states to pass eugenics laws at this time, but may have been the only one in which Native Americans became a deliberate target.

My father's experiences as a Jewish child in Germany and England and his choice to keep his heritage away from his children affected me strongly as I wrote this book. This fall, I'll be speaking about The Darkness Under the Water and other writings of mine, on Saturday October 9 in Marshfield, Mass. I'm very interested in visiting Greater Boston area schools and libraries during the week before and after this date. Would a discussion of this book and its significance fit into your fall schedule? If so, please do contact me about reserving a date for an author visit. I am also available at other dates for online visits through Skype An Author, and am pleased to correspond with book groups and teachers, as well as with students who have school approval to exchange e-mails or letters.

No comments: