New audiobook of Will Poole’s Island, small-group Cuba trips for 2021-22, and other news

September 3, 2020 § Leave a comment

I’m thrilled to announce the impending release of a new audiobook of Will Poole’s Islandnarrated by yours truly! It turns out that recording an audiobook is an exacting, time consuming process—but also a surprisingly enjoyable one. This slightly whimsical fish-eye photo taken by producer and sound engineer Reggie Martell in the spare room of my Vermont house that he converted into a sound studio doesn’t really do justice to how rewarding it was to re-immerse myself in that first published novel, a book that will always hold a special place in my heart.
Years had passed since I’d last revisited Will Poole’s Island; there were  moments when I felt like I was reading it for the first time. And I’m pleased to report, in my humble opinion, that the story holds up well, offering a rewarding temporary escape from the tense stretch of history we’re currently living. This is especially so thanks to Reggie’s professional expertise and the hauntingly beautiful original musical interludes composed by the talented ETC Kid.
The audiobook and Kindle e-book are set to be released on September 15, with a new edition of the paperback to follow in the coming weeks. If your interest is piqued, I encourage you to PREORDER THE AUDIOBOOK NOW from Audible or the vendor of your choice.  According to the publisher the more preorders we can rack up the more visible the book will be on platforms such as Audible and Amazon, which will in turn increase the likelihood of getting this novel out to a wider audience than it’s ever had before. It really doesn’t require too many preorders to make this happen, so if a certain percentage of you take a moment to do it right now, we can have a real impact. You’ll have my sincere gratitude. And I know you’ll enjoy listening to the novel!
“It’s been so long since I felt like a little girl in love with books again. Treasure IslandIsland of the Blue DolphinsThe Yearling, lazing around on a spot of sunshine totally engrossed in this other, historical world, that’s how I feel about Will Poole’s Island.” — Suzanne Kingsbury, author of The Summer Fletcher Greel Loved Me

“Immersive  . . . This riveting portrayal of early Colonial New England shines a speculative but compelling light on the time and place.” — Kirkus Reviews
The last time I was in Havana was January, 2020, but it feels like fifty years ago! Very much looking forward to getting back next year. Care to join me?
As a place to visit Cuba is as interesting as ever, perhaps even more so given the effectiveness of the response to COVID-19. Unlike certain other countries in the world, the country has been used its excellent medical system and organizing capacity to good effect, keeping new cases of the pandemic limited. In fact my Cuban friends are constantly checking in to express their worries about how we’re all doing up north in the U.S.—which says quite a bit about the situations in our respective countries.
Depending on how things go, the next year or so looks to be an opportune time to revisit this fascinating country that I know and love so well. 
I’m considering putting together two or three small-group trips to Cuba, dates TBD, in winter/spring 2021, late fall 2021, and/or winter/spring 2022.  
I’m also available to set up custom independent trips if you have a small group of family or friends that want to go. If either of these options is of more than casual interest to you, please send me a note with any thoughts on what your interests are in terms of trip content, and if there is a best time frame for you. 
I’ll keep a careful list and update you specifically as I hear from people and actual trip dates begin to take shape. You can also bookmark this page, on which I keep an updated list of upcoming writing workshops, travel programs, talks, readings, and other events.
Meanwhile, I hope you are holding up well, staying safe and healthy, and managing to enjoy life in all its varied moments! Please don’t hesitate to send me a note if you’d like to touch base in a more personal way. 

Warm wishes!

Will Poole’s Island named to list of Best Young Adult Historical Fiction Books

February 8, 2018 § Leave a comment

DSC04038Honored to be on this list, which also includes Laurie Halse Anderson’s Fever 1793, Christopher Paul Curtis’ Bud, Not Buddy, and Ann Rinaldi’s Numbering All the Bones. An excerpt of the review on Homeschooling Teen website, the list’s publisher:

“This novel has everything a teen could hope for in a historical fiction book, including elements of magic, a journey across the sea and enough conflict and suspense to keep the pages turning. Moreover, the novel provides excellent, although indirect, commentary on current events.”

Find out everything you need to know about Will Poole’s Island here.

Two new reviews

November 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Pleased to pass along this new review by Tinky Weisblat of the Greenfield, Mass Reporter, which called Will Poole’s Island  “A sweet, insightful, riveting adventure tale.” Here’s an extended excerpt:

“Weed writes colorfully and with feeling, drawing readers into Will’s and Squamiset’s lives and making his characters believable and human. Even the Puritans who persecute Will and Squamiset are treated with some degree of understanding even if their rigidity is difficult to condone. The author notes in an afterword that he is descended from both early settlers and Native Americans himself, which may account for his ability to depict both world views.Will Poole’s Island does several things and does them well. It is a sweet coming-of-age story, a riveting adventure tale, an insightful analysis of a difficult time in American history and an eloquent plea for understanding among all peoples.”

Read the full review here.

And here’s a second excerpt, this one from a new review by The Book Trail blog:

Will Poole’s Island takes you and throws you head first into the 17th century. So evocative in every sense of the word, it’s as if the scenes surround you as you read – the sights, sounds, and smells waft around you as you turn the pages. . . . It’s both an adventure story and a coming of age story but it’s the friendship between Will and Squamiset which will linger with me for a long time to come.”

Read the full review here.

 

New England book mini-tour

October 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

IMG_3820Thrilled to be embarking on an autumn mini book tour, during which I’ll be speaking, reading, and signing at several of New England’s great independent bookstores and libraries. Here’s the schedule of events. Come on out, I’d love to see you and sign your personal copy of Will Poole’s Island!

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2014, 6:30 PM
Bank Square Books
53 West Main Street
Mystic, Connecticut
 
 
 
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2014, 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM
TOADLOGOThe Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough (11AM)
12 Depot Square, Peterborough, NH
&
The Toadstool Bookshop in Keene (2PM)
At the Colony Mill Marketplace in Keene, NH
 
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2014, 4:00 PM
world-eye-logo-fbWorld Eye Bookshop
156 Main Street, Greenfield, MA
 
 
 
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2014, 2:00 pm
DFL-logo-duxoval-largeDuxbury Free Library
77 Alden Street, Duxbury, Massachusetts

 

Interview up at Fiction Writers Review

September 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

Very pleased to mark the publication of this interview with Alden Jones and the Fiction Writers Review. We had a nice discussion about the “genre” of historical fiction, the process of researching Will Poole’s Island, the differences between writing novels and short stories, and more.

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A brief excerpt:

“Here’s the thing about writing historical fiction: you’re not trying to reconstruct or mimic history, which would be altogether boring even if it weren’t impossible. What you’re trying to do is to create a new version of it that will tell a good story while simultaneously capturing something essential, not only about the period, but also about contemporary life.”

Read the complete interview here.

Brattleboro Literary Festival

September 23, 2014 § Leave a comment

What an honor to be included among the stellar group of authors participating in this year’s Brattleboro Literary Festival (October 2- 5, 2014) which for thirteen years has been one of the most dynamic and well attended celebrations of books and readers in New England. And what a blast to hang out with old friends, meet new ones, hear talented and interesting people discuss their work and read from it, all the events well attended, and the streets of good old Brattleboro teeming with readers and writers of every stripe. Thanks to the organizers and volunteers, my friends and fellow writers, and everyone who came out to celebrate the power and beauty of the written word!

I had the privilege of introducing two very special women, critically acclaimed emerging writers Alden Jones and Eleanor Henderson

I had the privilege of introducing two very special women, critically acclaimed emerging writers Alden Jones and Eleanor Henderson

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What a pleasure and an honor to read and discuss books alongside the talented Don Bredes, a fellow Vermont writer

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Signing books with Don and the luminous Dede Cummings, publicist, agent, and publisher of Green Writers Press

Giving a little pre-reading context for Will Poole’s Island

So great to see the streets and venues of Brattleboro filled with writers and readers. Reports of the death of the book have been very much exaggerated!

So great to see the streets and venues of Brattleboro filled with writers and readers. Reports of the death of the book have been very much exaggerated!

 

Will Poole’s Island book trailer is live!

August 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

Watch the trailer!

Immense gratitude to Ben Shumlin, the talented young (16!) filmmaker who produced this impressive short video, and his crew. We had a great time batting ideas around and shooting the footage in various wilderness settings, and it was fun to see how a video like this goes from a concept to a reality.

Some of the filming was done using a quadcopter drone; if you’re curious about that, or about the filming in general, there are photos and videos on my Facebook page. Please “like” the page while you’re there to see occasional posts on the book, some of the historical research that went in to it, and various other projects.

Literary New England Radio Show

July 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

It was a true pleasure to chat recently with Literary New England Radio Show host Cindy Wolfe Boynton about Will Poole’s Island. We discussed the genesis of the book, some of the historical research that went into it, the extent to which the protagonist is an autobiographical figure, and my version of the 21st century writing life. Cindy asked good questions, and I began by reading a brief excerpt from Chapter Four of the book. All in all, a most enjoyable conversation!

tumblr_inline_n8ija7kxFp1s04kqrThe show, which also features distinguished New England authors Deborah Harkness, Erika Johansen, and Courtney Maum, aired Monday, July 14, 2014, and is available as a podcast for you to download and hear at your own leisure by clicking here.

Note: Once you download the podcast you can move the cursor to whatever point you want to start listening. My portion of the interview begins at minute 38.50.

 

 

 

New historical fiction article up at The Grub Daily

July 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

themuse&themarketplacefinal_newlogo-250x250My two part writing craft article, “Narrative as Time Machine: Five Tools for World Building in Historical Fiction” is now up at The Grub Daily.

The article grew out of a talk I gave at Grub Street’s fantastic Muse and the Marketplace conference in May, 2014, and analyzes key excerpts from great historical fiction novels such as The Age of Innocence, The English Patient, Cold Mountain, The King Must Die, and more.  If this sounds interesting to you, click here. Hope you enjoy it!

 

 

Kirkus Reviews!

June 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

“Immersive, like the best of historical fiction . . . This riveting portrayal of early Colonial New England shines a speculative but compelling light on the time and place.”

—    Kirkus Reviews

Read the full review herekirkus_500x95

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