In the writing room right now ...

In the writing room right now ... I am working on book #3 in the Winds of Freedom series, a teen adventure series set in the 1850s in North Danville, Vermont. My 1852 Vermont adventure THIS ARDENT FLAME is scheduled for June 2021 publication with Five Star/Cengage -- I will give you updates and early order information as soon as I know! I'm also writing a memoir; revising a mystery; in the midst of a novel about a grandmother and her granddaughter; and always writing poems. Yes, I guess I do like multi-tasking! How about you?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Friendship, Books, and the Delights of Writers' Community

As any "pro" book reviewer will tell you, you're "not supposed to" be friends with the person whose book you're reviewing. On the other hand, as most mystery authors today will confirm, it's a small world out there for authors who choose to support each other ... so, sooner or later, you're going to be acquainted. My own revised guideline is: Speak the truth, for the reader, and it will be OK.

The connections among authors mean more than just talking about each other's books. They reassure deeply as we all reach the same challenges in the Writing Life: how to be a loving family member while reserving time to put pen (or computer) to paper; how to best credit those who contribute to the work; how to promote work without sounding like a puffed-up peacock; how to surf the changing marketplace without selling one's soul. These friendships matter intensely.

This spring I reviewed the new and fascinating Pennsylvania Dutch historical mystery by Charles Fergus with much pleasure -- he lives about 10 miles from here and I'm slowly getting acquainted, more so with the books than the person (he's as private as most of us writers are, and his use of a trauma of his own life in the new mystery is a courageous risk to take, and one that paid off in making the book really good). Here's the cover, along with the review:

But Charles (Chuck to friends) has the honor of launching TWO books this year, in totally separate genres. To keep things honorable, I purchased a copy of his other 2019 book, MAKING A HOME FOR WILDLIFE, and have it in one of my reading "corners" of this place, so I can enjoy it and absorb the information. But, life being what it is, I haven't made time to review it. So it was a delight to see this review this morning by Gary Moore, who writes knowledgeably on outdoor topics for our regional paper The Caledonian-Record. It solves my quandary of how to handle reviewing this nifty title, while also letting me tip my hat to both Charles Fergus and Gary Moore. Nicely done, friends!

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