Saturday, April 5, 2008

Is that cool or what?

My book is real and in my hands!! Is that cool or what? A little more than a week ago, boxes of books materialized on my front porch--real ones, with my name on the cover! 3 weeks ahead of schedule! And they're in bookstores even as I write this. (Well, I hope they're in bookstores--I still haven't seen any personally. On Friday the only bookstore I found that carried it had sold out--a good sign. So if anyone out there has an actual sighting of A Difficult Boy on an actual bookstore shelf, please let me know!) I've been running around so frantically trying to set up and publicize signings that I haven't even had time to blog about it until now. And next week, I actually get my first radio gig!

On Monday, April 7, 1:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time), Dennis Picard, Director of Storrowton Village, and I will be guests on "Shooting from the Hip," Vincent Dowling's radio show on Valley Free Radio, 103.3 FM, Northampton, Mass. Those of you not in the Northampton area can listen at the station's website, which has a live mp3 stream. (The show will be repeated next Monday at 1 pm, so you even get a second chance.) I haven't met Vincent Dowling yet, but from his c.v. and what Dennis tells me, he's a pretty formidable talent. An actor and director and writer, he is former Artistic Director of The Abbey Theatre, Ireland's National Theatre. If that's not impressive enough to have me quaking in my boots, I don't know what is--especially since one of my main characters is Irish. Will my character be credible to a native Irishman? Will Mr. Dowling say "How dare you have the audacity to write about Irish characters,, French-Canadian!!"

Actually, Dennis reassures me that Mr. Dowling is quite nice and that this should be a fun time. But I'm very, VERY glad and grateful that Dennis will be there to run interference, should I get a case of the "um-um-um-ummmms." One of my former co-workers from Old Sturbridge Village, Dennis is a fabulous resource on just about anything historical--he did me the great favor of reading my manuscript when it was still in the 700-page very rough draft stage and catching me if I screwed up my details. (I only hope I didn't add new errors in the final edits.) I swear this man has a photographic memory! He was recently featured on Nova's "Absolute Zero" episode, which you can see online. Look for "Chapter 3: The Ice Trade" and click on the link to the video (he's near the end of the clip). Dennis is the fellow being interviewed about the 19th-century ice trade. At that time, New England ponds were supplying ice to customers around the world. Imagine--ice from Massachusetts being used in India or China or the Caribbean. Is that cool or what?


Ghost Girl said...

Oh, MP, Congratulations! How cool! I'll be on the lookout for your book.

I'm familiar with the Abbey. I lived in Ireland in the 80s, and I'll tell you, the Irish are a very generous, and passionate, people. I hope you get a great reading and have a great show with Mr. Dowling!

M.P. Barker said...

Thanks for your good wishes.

How lucky of you to have lived in Ireland! I had a semester in London, and a honeymoon in Scotland, but haven't made it across to Ireland.

Have you read Becoming Finola by Suzanne Strempek-Shea? It's a lovely story about a woman who goes to Ireland on vacation, takes a job on a whim in a craft shop, and ends up taking on not only the job, but the house, the life, and almost the identity of the woman who'd had the job before. I've always fantasized about going to a new place and just taking on a new identity, and this story is a fun exploration of a character who does just that.