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?

Friday, April 30, 2010

Historical Research in Progress

Ever wondered what it's like to search out the pieces of the puzzle for a specific historical question? Bob Joly, Shara McCaffery, and I are working on a question about lectures given at a community gathering spot in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, in the late 1800s: at "Athenaeum Hall." To see how the digging begins as wide and scattered data, then gradually narrows with confirmation, toward a presentation, take a peek at the workspace blog for "Our Distinguished Guests":

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.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Wow, what a learning curve, to create a video and post it on YouTube! I've also entered this in the ForeWord Book Trailer contest; hope you'll take a look, and leave a "like" vote if it pleases you (you can only vote AFTER watching it). Thanks! -- look for Darkness Under the Water.