Author reading

Sweet Homecoming at The Millicent Library

It was indeed a warm welcome when I gave a reading Oct. 18 at the Millicent Library in my hometown of Fairhaven, Mass. I was touched by the people who came, including many who had read my Isabel Long Mystery Series, which the library carries. Thanks Friends of The Millicent Library for hosting me.

When I was a kid, my mother brought me there to borrow books. As I told those who came for the reading, I tried to read the library’s entire Wizard of Oz series — a friend in the audience said he actually had it at home when it was bought at a sale the library held long ago — plus the one for Nancy Drew, when I and everyone else thought it was written by a woman named Carolyn Keene.

When I moved onto the adult books, I vowed to read every one in the library, an impossible task for certain.

I never know how many people will come to a reading or who will be in the audience. I was surprised right away when a man named Mike presented me with a large black and white photo taken a while back of my parents and his parents dancing at an event. How thoughtful.

Chairs were added as more people came. My cousin, Michael, who has read my books, was there. Several classmates from Fairhaven High School, who had likely seen my post on Facebook, were present. There were people I hadn’t seen in a very long time. Beth David was shooting photos for her Fairhaven Neighborhood News, the local paper.

The talk and reading went fine. I had prepared a script, with each opening sentence highlighted and the script in 22 point, which I had practiced ahead of time so I had most of it in my brain. I talked about my connection to the library and writing experience before delving into the books I have written. I read from them briefly, including the first chapter of Northern Comfort, my latest.

Then I opened it up to questions, which was fun. One man suggested I do podcasts. (Thanks for the suggestion. I am thinking about it.) People had questions about the books such as do I have a hard time keeping characters straight in my different books. (No, I don’t.) What authors do I like? Advice about publishing.

Afterward when I was signing books people bought, I was approached by my ninth-grade history teacher, Dennis Duval. I had written a blog post, The People Who Teach Us, about meeting him last summer at my mother’s convalescent home. I had no way of knowing how to reach him, but he told me he found it online by chance. He had printed it out and asked me to sign it for him. 

It was a sweet homecoming for certain.

NEXT READING: I will be doing one Sunday, Oct. 22, 2 p.m. at the Arms Library in my village of Shelburne Falls.

ABOUT THE PHOTOS: Hank took the ones of me talking and signing books. I snapped the one of the audience.


Reading at the Millicent Library

When I was a kid, I spent so much of my time reading thanks to the Millicent Library in my hometown of Fairhaven. On Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 6:30 p.m., I will experience a different kind of reading there — when I share my experiences about writing and read from a couple of the books I wrote. I smile as I type this. 

First a little history: The Millicent Library is one of the extraordinarily beautiful buildings given to Fairhaven by Henry Huttleston Rogers, a resident who became wealthy thanks to oil. Charles Brigham, the noted architect, designed the Italian Renaissance building, which took two years to complete. The library is dedicated to Rogers’ daughter Millicent, who died at age 17. It appears she once said, “I wish we had a good library.” It was dedicated on Jan.30, 1983, the anniversary of her birth.

Friends from Taos, where Hank and I lived for 11 years, will recognize the name Millicent Rogers. In Taos’ case, this Millicent was the granddaughter of Henry Huttleston Rogers. She lived a fabulous life. An art museum, which I visited often, is in her name.

But back to Fairhaven … My late mother, Algerina Medeiros who was a big reader, took us frequently to the Millicent Library to borrow a stack of books. I recall attempting to read the whole Wizard of Oz series. I remember when I stopped using the kids’ room to venture into the adult sections, including nonfiction.

So, I was excited when I learned that the Millicent Library had my books available for its patrons to borrow, most notably the Isabel Long Mystery Series. Earlier this year, on a visit back home, I stopped in to thank the staff and to give a copy of The Sacred Dog. I was touched when I received an email from Barb Mitchell of the Friends of the Library inviting me to do a reading. Of course, I accepted.

At the Oct. 18 reading, I will talk about my writing experience, including how I overcame a 25-year writer’s block, and my books in particular. I will read from the latest, Northern Comfort, a dark drama about the haves and have nots in a rural town. I also plan to give a sneak peek into Missing the Deadline, the seventh in my Isabel Long Mystery Series, which darkstroke books is releasing later this year.

I will be glad to take questions. And, yes, I will bring books for sale at a discount. Ten bucks will get you one of them.

Friends and family, I hope to see you in the audience on Thursday.

ABOUT THE IMAGE ABOVE: One of the elaborate lights at the Millicent Library.