COMING APRIL 14
On what would be her 127th birthday, my long-in-progress book about my lost grandmother will finally see daylight. It's an unusual blend of memoir and family history that also incorporates fictional elements. The writing of it was very exciting for me -- the strictly factual parts because my research answered a lot of perplexing questions and anomalies in my family history, and the fictionalized sections because -- well, it's always exciting for me to write fiction! (The book contains 23 vintage photographs, some of which are fascinating in themselves.)
AVAILABLE NOW I'm very pleased to report that Open Road Media has issued seven of my backlist novels as e-books and print-on-demand paperbacks--available from all the usual places, including Amazon and B&N. These oldies but goodies have been hard to find except as overpriced used books, so I'm thrilled that Open Road--which specializes in reviving neglected backlists --has stepped in and done such a wonderful job of reissuing them.
THE WRITING MASTER
paperback and ebook
MORE PRAISE FOR THE WRITING MASTER
"I tore through THE WRITING MASTER in one night.
It's a murder mystery, a father-daughter story,
and a detailed slice of
19th-century New England history. Lovely!"
~ Susan Cheever, author of Louisa May Alcott and American Bloomsbury
“I don’t have enough superlatives to describe my delight with THE WRITING MASTER. I loved every moment I spent in the 19th-century world of Florey’s endearing and complicated characters. I loved their heartbreaking plights, their sparkling dialogue, their fully realized setting, their unexpected destinations.
I will read it again while I wait for a sequel.”
~Monica Wood, author of When We Were the Kennedys
The Writing Master is set in 1856 in New Haven, Connecticut, a city I lived in for much of my adult life. The book was inspired by the writing of my second work of nonfiction, Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting. In the course of the research, I became fascinated by the importance of handwriting -- now so sadly devalued -- in earlier days, when a fast, legible script was indispensable for a gentleman, and the gloriously embellished script of a master of the art was held in deep respect.
My novel is about a summer in the life of a writing master, a man who earned his living producing letters and documents for people who could not write (or, often, read). During long walks around downtown New Haven, and on many afternoons at the New Haven Historical Society, I imagined Charles Cooper and built a world around him - his sad past, his hopeful present. The plot includes a very Sherlockian murder investigation, a mysterious woman with her own tragic story, a visit to a Connecticut madhouse, and much more -- truly a “contemporary Victorian novel”
In my spare moments, I plot a sequel, thirty years onward, set in Amherst, Mass., where I now live. I don't have many spare moments, so I don't know if a middle-aged Charles will ever see the light, but he’s a lovable character, and I remain intrigued by him -- and hope you will too.
The novel is now available as both an e-book and a paperback, published by White River Press. Karen Kleinerman, one of my most talented friends -- and that's saying a lot -- designed the fabulous covers for both formats.