Sunday, October 31, 2010

First Book Signing Went Well

Pages Books and Coffee in Mount Airy is such a great place to have a book signing! Owners Sandy and Scott are happy to have local writers in, and made me feel right at home. Friend and novelist Jane Tesh (also a resident of our fair village) came to keep me company for an hour -- and we had the best time taking "shop" and visiting with other friends who came to visit (and buy books)! That was, after all, the purpose of the event.

Next stop, Elizabeth City. I'll be at Page after Page November 6. If you're in town on the waterfront there, please stop by.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New project started; history revisited

Now that The Pirate's Bastard is out and Second Wind Publishing as accepted The Mystery of the Phoenix Festival, my next project can begin in earnest. This work is the second in the Called to Serve young readers series. The Mystery of the Phoenix Festival is the first.

While The Pirate's Bastard is intended for adult readers, compared to what is on television and in "G"-rated movies, there's nothing objectionable in there (except the title, perhaps). It's been suggested to me that it might be a great fit for an Accelerated Reader program through schools, and I'm looking into that as a possibility.

The question has come up, though, about my ability to write for adults and young readers. I don't see any reason why a decent story teller can't tell a variety of stories to different audiences. My publisher seems to agree with me. I write in vastly different genres, too. There is a constant in all that I write, though. The constant is history. Even in the Called to Serve series, the mysteries involve history. It might be history of a place, or in the case of the second book, there's rich history in the characters and location shared in a fresh way.

I'll share more about the story as it progresses.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

And we have a winner!

Second Wind Publishing held a drawing for a free book, and I'm pleased to announce the winner is a reader from Kentucky. Her copy of the book will be sent to her today! It's been a long time coming, and I am equally pleased to say, "The Books Finally Came In from the Printer!" (I really was beginning to wonder!)

So for all of you who ordered books already, rest assured that they are being boxed up and shipped out today. Whew!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Maritime history in New Bern takes on new life

I've just returned from the N.C. Maritime History Council's annual conference in New Bern, N.C. Despite the torrential rains and slight street flooding, it was a wonderful experience.

A small disclaimer: I'm partial to New Bern anyway, so visiting there is always a treat to me. Add to the visit great speakers and like-minded people who share my enthusiasm for boats, history, and coast, and such an event could only be fantastic.

Of course, we toured Tryon Palace, the Stanley House, and the Dixon House. Those are mandatory on such a trip; but we also stepped aboard the Ada Mae, a skipjack that has a new lease on life as an educational vessel for children.

A second off-site tour was to Hatteras Yachts, and the final cherry on top of the sundae was a tour through the soon-to-be opened History and Education Center.This highly interactive space was built on the site of the former Balbour boats shipyard. The building's design bows to that history, with architecture reminiscent of a boat shed (allbeit a fancy, light-filled contemporary design). The Center has one of the best views right on the water, and the new exhibits beg to be touched (we couldn't do that since it wasn't quite ready). it will be open in a few weeks and I will definitely go back.

During the conference, I stayed with Camile and Joe, owners of The Hanna House Bed and Breakfast. Talk about your perfect hosts -- and what incredible food! A cheese souffle for breakfast one morning, shrimp and grits another ... I want to tell you that this is the place to stay if you ever go to New Bern. I'll be back in the spring (if not sooner) for a book signing of The Pirate's Bastard and the launch of another novel set in 1943 -- I won't tell you anymore about that one now, but let me just say, New Bern figures prominently in the story.