Sunday, October 11, 2015


            I'm happy to report that my book tour for GOD'S KINGDOM got off to a great start.  Everyone's Books, in Brattleboro, VT, has access to a brand-new events space: The Space at 118 Elliot.  It's a former laundromat, and a great place to gather for a reading and book discussion.  I was there this past Thursday.  Many thanks to the terrific booksellers from Everyone's.  You and your colleagues have kept this Northeast Kingdom writer going for decades.
            En route from Brattleboro to Manchester, VT, I crossed the spine of the Green Mountains in a driving rain.  The foliage was at its peak in the upper elevations.  The oranges and reds were as vivid against the steely low clouds as in full sunshine, a phenomenon I've noticed many times.  I stopped at Bartleby's Books in the alpine village of Wilmington, signed several copies of GOD'S KINGDOM, and was delighted to see half a dozen little kids happily browsing in the children's section with their parents.  Who says young people aren't reading these days?  Not so!
            Friday evening I had a well-attended event at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center.  Thanks to the wonderful Morrow family and to all my friends and readers from Manchester.  There's no better bookstore in the United States than Northshire.
            On Saturday afternoon, after stopping to sign books at the lovely Gilbert Hart Library in Wallingford, I had the pleasure of launching the first event at Phoenix Books' new store in Rutland.  It's at 2 Center Street, in the heart of the downtown district.  Rutland is, and always has been, a vigorous, working city.  Now it has a great new bookstore!
            There are worse ways to spend the fall foliage season than driving around New England reading from my new book and visiting with new and old friends.  I'll be at the Hardwick Town House in Hardwick at 7:00 on this coming Tuesday,sponsored by the Galaxy Bookshop , Oct. 13; the Norwich Bookstore at 7:00 on Wednesday; the Phoenix's Burlington location on Thursday at 7:00; the Cobleigh Library in Lyndonville at 7:00 on Friday, sponsored by Geen Mountain Books; the Woodstock History Center on Saturday at 1:00, sponsored by the Yankee Bookshop; and Main St. Main Street Bookends in Warner, NH, at 2:00 on Sunday.  Hope to see you at an event soon.  I'll be bringing my map of "Kingdom County," aka God's Kingdom, for your amusement.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

March 19, 2015
          Writers of the world, have you been working on your opus without a breakthrough for years?  Take heart. The mathematician Yitang Zhang, after decades of beating his head against a brick wall, intuited the solution to a very nearly impossible problem involving prime numbers while walking around in a friend’s back yard.  The only remotely comparable experience I’ve ever had was back in the summer of 2002 when virtually all of my novel Waiting for Teddy Williams came to me in a minute or two while I was driving very late at night on the New York State Thruway, near Batavia.  In small ways, however, I think we clueless scribblers intuit solutions to problems of character, story, language, and structure all the time.  To return to the field of mathematics – with a very bad pun – go figure.  Still, as I was putting the finishing touches on my own new novel (God’s Kingdom, St. Martin’s Press, Oct. 2015), it occurred to me that when it comes to the sources of creativity, there’s probably more in this world than is dreamt of in anybody’s philosophy.