Collection is Semifinalist for Subito Press Book Prize

November 26, 2015 § 2 Comments

DSC04036Pleased to note that my short fiction collection, “A Field Guide to Murder and Fly Fishing,” was named a semifinalist for the 2015 Subito Press Book Prize. So far, earlier versions of the same book have also been shortlisted for the New Rivers Press Many Voices Project, the Autumn House Fiction Prize, and the Lewis-Clark Press Discovery Award. Stories within the collection have won a Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Award and the Grand Prize of Outrider Press’s The Mountain anthology, and have been shortlisted for many awards including the Lightship Publishing International Literature Prize, the Glimmer Train Short Story Award, The Richard Yates Short Story Award, and others.

It’s been a long road for these stories, all of which  have appeared previously in literary magazines and/or anthologies, but a final home may be in sight. Stay tuned for more exciting news about the collection . . .

Author interview: Inside Historical Fiction

April 21, 2015 § 2 Comments

cropped-screen-shot-2015-01-26-at-4-57-33-pmIt was a pleasure to be interviewed recently by the author M.K. Tod for her Inside Historical Fiction series. We had a nice talk about the ingredients that go into the making of great historical fiction, the research process, recent trends in the genre, and more. Here’s an excerpt:

MKT: Are historical novels inherently different from contemporary novels, and if so, in what ways?

TW: There’s a quote that I love from Andrew Miller, writing in The New York Times Book Review a few years ago, about the appeal of distance, and of “the strangeness such distance produces and of the lives lived recognizably in the midst of that strangeness.” He compared historical fiction to science fiction, pointing out that both genres require the writer to depict the only world he or she can possibly know—“the here and now”—in other terms.

To me, this notion captures much of what I love about historical fiction, both in the writing and in the reading: it’s at once a dream we have to enter and an oblique reflection of ourselves. In my experience, this kind of mind-altering immersion is harder to find in contemporary novels—if by “contemporary” we mean novels that are set in times and places very similar to the quotidian spheres in which we tend to live out our lives.

Read the full interview here.

Novel Excerpt in The Island Review

February 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

new-england-1-640x420Nice to see this excerpt from Will Poole’s Island published today in The Island Review. My thanks to Malachy Tallack and the rest of the TIR staff – it’s a great publication to subscribe to if you love islands and good writing!

Two new articles out for Thanksgiving

November 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

Some reading material, and a bit of food for thought as you’re digesting your bird . . .

1GIGWESD_400x400It’s Long Past Time to Update the Thanksgiving Myth,” Talking Points Memo. New perspectives on the early origins of America, based in part on personal revelations from the research for Will Poole’s Island.

Screen-shot-2014-11-22-at-9.50.51-AM-300x164A Taste of History,” Nantucket Magazine. Notes on the history of early English settlement on Nantucket and interactions with the resident Wampanoags. Includes a speculative menu of an imagined first Thanksgiving on the island.

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.

 

Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego

October 30, 2014 § 1 Comment

IMG_4439Getting packed and ready for an adventure in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego with National Geographic Expeditions.  We’ll start off in Buenos Aires, but the real adventure begins once we reach Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city, and board a ship for the onward journey into the Straits of Magellan. We’ll follow in the wake of Darwin’s Beagle and use Zodiacs to land at various locations in and around the fabled Cape Horn and the Agostini Sound, exploring the fjords, tidewater glaciers and pristine high latitude temperate rainforests of this spectacular convergence of land, sea and glaciers. From our debarkation point at Punta Arenas, we’ll head up to the dramatic, glacier-sculpted granite spires and horns of Torres del Paine National Park for several days of hiking through some of the most compelling landscapes and some of the lowest human population densities on the planet. We’ll wrap up with a visit to the Chilean capital, Santiago.

ISlide1n my role as the National Geographic featured expert, I’ve been working hard to prepare a lecture series that I hope will be of interest to my fellow travelers. The lectures have certainly been fascinating to research and compile. I’ll begin with a brief introduction to the history and geography of the places we’ll be visiting. The subsequent lectures will focus on the lives of explorers and adventurers who were shaped by youthful journeys to Patagonia or Tierra del Fuego, and who have gone on to make important contributions to humanity and the planet: Charles Darwin and the voyage of the HMS Beagle; the radical individualist artist Rockwell Kent and his madcap journey to Cape Horn on a tiny refurbished lifeboat; and a pair of dirtbag California climbers, Doug Tompkins and Yvon Chouinard, who packed into a white Ford van and set off on a six month quest to climb Mount FitzRoy in 1968. These dirtbags went on, of course, to become wildly successful entrepreneurs and key contributors to the cause of environmental conservation.

HMS Beagle in Sydney Harbour Ron Scobie 1838For my last lecture I’ll talk about life as a writer in modern America, and specifically the process of researching, writing, and publishing my recently released debut novel, Will Poole’s Island. Very much looking forward to this trip!

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.

fwr pic

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 featured in prizewinning newspaper

August 28, 2014 § Leave a comment

Very pleased to note than an article about Will Poole’s Island appeared today in Nantucket’s prizewinning paper, The Inquirer and Mirror. I met with the I & M’s wonderful Kimberly Nolan when I was on the island last week. Kim is an organic farmer in addition to being a reporter. We discussed the research behind the book, Native American perspectives, Nantucket connections, and much more, and then Kim set us up with some delicious fresh eggs and tomatoes. All in all a very positive experience with the press! Click here to read the full article: “Historic Nantucket Reimagined

We spotted this lovely old ship from the ferry as we were leaving the island.

Spotted this lovely old ship from the ferry as we were leaving the island. Ah, Nantucket!

 

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