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, May 20, 2011

Research Never Ends -- Thank Goodness, Because It's Fascinating!

Here's the invitation that's taking me across the state on Sunday:
Opening Day – The War Before the War
Sunday, May 22, 2 pm

We begin our commemoration of the Civil War 150th anniversary with a talk by Museum Director Jane Williamson on the abolitionist movement. Americans argued bitterly about slavery for 30 years before the union broke and war began. She will share abolitionist treasures from the collection.
Find out more about Vermont's best documented Underground Railroad site at http://www.rokeby.org. I'm looking forward to learning more about the time, the people, and the artifacts that Rokeby and its director present.

You might ask: Why go to learn more when the book's already written? (See www.thesecretroombook.com for details.) Answer: Partly, I am always hungry to know more. Second, it's vital to keep adding historically verified details to the picture of a time period. Third, aren't you curious about the Robinson family members of Rokeby -- how they managed their roles during the Underground Railroad years, what they believed as a result of being part of the Society of Friends (the Quakers), who stayed with them when and why? For sure, I am!

Hope to see you there.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Cover Design: Graphic Artist Jacob Grant

The Secret Room will release on September 10, with lots of events on and around that date. Publishers Janis Raye and Neil Raphel of VOYAGE (an imprint of Brigantine) are clearly enjoying planning the fun (even if it is hard work sometimes!). Janis is an amazing organizer, and Neil keeps the focus.

Adrienne Raphel is the editor for VOYAGE, and she's top-notch -- clear-eyed, demanding, and creative. She's now working with the next two books of fiction coming out this year under this new imprint: one by Vermont teacher and author Jenny Land, and the other by nationally known (but living in Vermont) poet and novelist F. D. Reeve.

And the other person in the publishing office is Jacob Grant, a graphic designer who's also co-author of a series of fantasy novels. Recently Jake raced to the rescue of a young local author bringing her first book rapidly to publication: Caleigh Cross. I'm putting the cover for her book here, along with the cover for mine. Clearly they're very different -- but what similarities can you find?