This week I’ve been both on the road and on the sea, talking with readers about Quick Pivot.
Tuesday evening, I participated in a panel discussion with other Maine crime writers at the wonderful Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft, a former mill town in Piscataquis County. The other authors were Maureen Milliken, whose debut novel, Cold Hard News, also has a newspaper reporter as its protagonist, and Vaughn Hardacker, whose thrillers feature a pair of big city cops who find they most certainly did not leave crime behind when they moved to Maine. Retired librarian John Clark, who writes young adult novels as well as adult mysteries, moderated what turned out to be a free-wheeling discussion about crime, Maine, back roads, deep woods and mill towns. Many thanks to librarians Michelle Fagan and Helen Fogler for making this event happen.
In addition to the lovely historic library, Dover-Foxcroft is the site of a terrific recent renovation of the Mayo Mill, originally a woolen mill, now a mixed-use building that anchors one end of East Main Street.
I have great appreciation for mill towns. I grew up in one, now live in a different one, and Quick Pivot takes place in one–the fictional former mill town of Riverside, Maine. My plot centers on a long-dead body found bricked behind a basement wall when the mill is being transformed into artist lofts and hipster condos. Whenever I see one of these enormous riverside factories I wonder about the stories the walls would tell if they could only talk.
Today I hopped on the 10:00 ferry to Great Diamond Island in Casco Bay to meet with a terrific group of readers at The Store at historic Elwell Hall.
It was a spectacular morning to be out on the bay, 70-something degrees, sunny, light breeze. I don’t often have the chance to do mid-day library events, and today’s weather was so gorgeous I was tempted to play hooky and spend the afternoon gawking at the island’s beautiful homes.
Today’s Great Diamond Island visit brought home a truth I know from my years on neighboring Peaks Island–islanders love to read.Elwell Hall has its own library, and I was happy to see the extensive mystery section.
I also was glad to read a passage from Quick Pivot and talk about my writing with such a thoughtful and enthusiastic group of readers. Many, many thanks to Nancy Markey Gleason, Jane Laughlin (that cake!), Anne Haywood and Judy Sedgwick, who were the movers behind this very pleasurable visit.