April 24, 2017 § Leave a comment
Take a look at Crystal King’s recent article at Literary Hub regarding the relevance of historical fiction to contemporary society. Crystal, the author of Feast of Sorrow, a gripping new novel on ancient Rome, makes some excellent points about the ways in which the visceral experience of history that comes from reading novels based in the past can inform our understanding of the present. The article also presents the perspectives of ten contemporary historical novelists in whose company I’m quite honored to be included, including Jenna Blum, Anjali Mitter Duva, Margaret George, Heather Webb, and Marjan Kamali. Our current political leaders would do well to read this one!
March 23, 2015 § 3 Comments
Very pleased to note that Will Poole’s Island has made the prestigious Bank Street College of Education’s annual list of “The Best Children’s Books of the Year.” Will Poole’s Island was chosen in the “Mystery and Adventure” category, and although the novel was not written exclusively for children, it’s a great honor to make the list—and it increases the likelihood of getting it into the hands of more readers of all ages. The 2015 edition recognizes books published in 2014.
February 6, 2015 § Leave a comment
November 25, 2014 § Leave a comment
Really enjoyed my interview with Peter Biello of Vermont Public Radio on Wednesday, November 26, 2014. Peter is an insightful reader and an excellent interviewer; we had a lively and wide-ranging conversation about the genesis of Will Poole’s Island, various aspects of early America, and new perspectives on the Thanksgiving myth. Click here for the podcast and transcript.
October 30, 2014 § 1 Comment
Getting 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.
In 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.
For 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!
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!
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“
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.
July 28, 2014 § Leave a comment
Great news this morning from one of the world’s greatest independent bookstores: Will Poole’s Island has been selected as Nantucket Bookworks‘ Teen Pick of the Month!
If you’ve been lucky enough to visit the mysterious and evocative isle of Nantucket then you know that this bookstore and its partner store, Mitchell’s Books, are essential landmarks for readers and must-do stops in historic downtown. It’s a great honor to receive this nod from what has long been a rainy day refuge for me and countless others — all the sweeter because the historical and physical landscapes of the island were so important to the writing of the novel.
Order the book directly from the bookstore here.
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!
The 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.