Now that winter is behind us (the optimist writes on a day when the morning’s rain washed away the previous night’s annoyance snow, and the wind still howls outside the window) I’m out and about again, talking up Truth Beat in particular and my Joe Gale mysteries in general.
On March 21 I had a wonderful visit with a book group in Springvale at the home of my longtime friend Madge Baker, where we talked about Quick Pivot, the first in the Joe Gale series, among other things. Many thanks to Madge, as well as Ann, Yoli, Tess, Carol, Renee and Martha for a wonderful evening.
On March 29 I welcomed the coming spring with a reading at the beautiful Gardiner Memorial Library where librarian Anne Davis made me feel right at home as did a very engaged audience of old friends and new. Special thanks to Mayor Thom Harnett for talking up my reading on social media.
Two nights later I was delighted to be back in the Gathering Room at Walker Memorial Library in Westbrook. I’m grateful to the Friends of the Library for the coffee and homemade whoopee pies, and to head librarian Becky Albert for her warm welcome.
The very engaged crowd had so many thoughtful questions about the themes I explore in Truth Beat and the challenges of writing about controversial topics in a way that doesn’t oversimplify complicated issues.
On Saturday April 2 I shared the floor with poet Kevin Sweeney at Books in the ‘Brook, a monthly literary salon for local readers and writers that we started this winter in Westbrook. A bunch of my crime writer pals were in the audience to hear me read the opening scene from Quick Pivot, and a gang of poets was on hand to support Kevin.
It turned out he was born on Peaks Island and, like me, treasures his Irish heritage. Poet Jim Donnelly pointed out from his seat in the back row that in the old days, Boston police considered any four Irish people in one room to be the roots of a riot. A glance around showed the Books in the ‘Brook crowd qualified, what with Riellys and Kilmartins and Kileys on hand, and a good bunch of Peaks Islanders too (never ones to shy from a rowdy time.) But there was no trouble, and lots of laughs. I would read with the very talented Kevin again in a heartbeat.
This month I’ll be at the Norway Memorial Library – a place legendary for its enthusiastic support to Maine writers – on Tuesday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. I know my friends Pat and Jan will be in the front row, which will be a special treat.
In December I had to postpone an appearance at Porter Memorial Library in Machias when an un-forecast snowstorm blew into Downeast Maine. I’m happy to say that much-anticipated reading has been rescheduled for May 4 at 6 p.m. Cover Story is set in Machias, and part of the story takes place at Porter Memorial itself. I’m so grateful to Librarian Lee Downing for her flexibility in rescheduling this event, and look forward to seeing my Washington County pals Betsy and Yogi there, along with others who enjoy mysteries set in that beautiful part of the state.
To any book groups who are interested in mysteries: I’m always happy to visit and talk about my Joe Gale mysteries. If distance is an issue, we can connect by Skype or Face Time.
To readers who enjoy meeting writers at your local libraries: please let me know if you would like me to schedule a visit.
There’s nothing more wonderful than to sit around a dining room table or be in a library talking with book people about books.
Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll set something up!