Summer 2021

So here is the cover of my new novel – that some of you have already seen. When I found out it was released last Friday, June 25, sooner than I expected, I couldn’t resist sharing the news on Facebook.

It was a lot of work the past few months, going through all the edits – the text, the book design, graphics inside the book, the cover – but the team at Sunbury Press (Black Posey Press is the imprint Three Rooms is published under) were extremely helpful and a pleasure to work with.

I hope you’ll read and enjoy the book. It’s available on Amazon, through the publisher (sunburypress.com), and bookstores can order it, too. Any comments (preferably good ones) on Amazon, to me personally, or to the Pulitzer Prize committee will be appreciated.

“Launching a new book is kind of scary; you spend such a long time alone with your characters, and then, in one sudden moment, they’re running wild into the hands of strangers…”

— Nanette L. Avery

The only superstition I have is that I must start a new book on the same day that I finish the last one, even if it’s just a few notes in a file. I dread not having work in progress.

— Terry Pratchett

I do have other works in progress. They are hiding in the file cabinet, waiting for me to take a look and decide what to work on and, hopefully, finish next. Meanwhile, I’ll be promoting my novel as best I can in this time of Covid. Writers are still being interviewed virtually, instead of in-person. Bookstores must be cautious, as do writers’ conferences and events. Canio’s Bookstore in Sag Harbor hosts authors outside the store, on the sidewalk, where they can talk with people and sign books.

Both the annual Southampton Writers Conference in July and Author’s Night in August, here in East Hampton, will be virtual. Bookfest, in Woodstock, NY, a favorite of mine, cancelled this year’s program, but some others will be live, such as the Hippocampus Conference in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in August. Poets & Writers magazine has an online listing of conferences, live and virtual for those who may be interested.

My son, Jeffrey, will come from California in mid-July to help celebrate my birthday. We have a family luncheon planned, in Hampton Bays, in a restaurant overlooking the docks and the bay. I haven’t seen my son, or most other family members, in a very long time because of the Covid scare. I meet up with friends occasionally, for indoor lunches or dinners, in uncrowded venues, and that’s always a pleasure. Musicians are able to perform live this summer out here, so I hope to attend concerts. Zoom meetings are still on my list, and I hope to attend book readings, programs on nature, history and travel, We’re very fortunate to have these events available to us.

Our writing workshop is meeting at my home, outdoors on the rear deck, as we did last summer. The first class had to be moved indoors due to rain. Only four writers were present, and all of us have been vaccinated, so we sat in my dining room, “socially distanced” and mask-less. Last winter and this spring, we met in the Catholic Church’s large parish hall in Bridgehampton. The windows were opened, and all of us were masked – unless any of us were reading. Now we’ll meet for six Tuesdays here, ending on July 27. It’s very possible classes will resume at the Hampton Library in September after a long hiatus, and where I’ve run workshops for the last ten years.

“I think if everyone would write down the funny stories from their own childhoods, the world would be a better place.”

— Jeff Kinney

“Write about what really interests you, whether it is real things or imaginary things, and nothing else.”

— C. S. Lewis

“My Most Memorable Meal,” an essay I wrote while in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton was recently published. I tried to publish it a few times over the years but was turned down. Suddenly it was relevant because the chef who cooked the meal, Starr Boggs of the Westhampton Beach restaurant that bears his name, was supposedly retiring. The essay appeared in The Southampton Press, East Hampton Press and the Sag Harbor Express (the papers are all merged now as The Express Group) on May 31, 2021. Go to: https://images.app.goo.gl/tj8ZSYkgXnmReZbi6 to see read this.

Bob Martin, of Montauk, has just released a new book, 9/11 Remembered: Twenty Years Later. “It’s a book I had to write,” Bob said, “to remind everyone of the untold sacrifices which our brave First Responders made on that horrific day.” His book points out that “far too many died that day” and have, in all the years since, “succumbed to or been seriously affected with post 9/11 related diseases.” All proceeds from the book will go to the 3256 Foundation which honors fallen Emergency Service Unit Sergeant USMC combat veteran Mike Curtin. See the book on Amazon. Bob’s previous book, Bronx Justice, an NYPD Novel, based on an actual case, is also available on Amazon.

On June 14 Joanne Pateman published a “Reflections” column in The Southampton Press (Express Group) called “Backyard Pleasures” about the joy of gardening on her rear deck and in her yard in Southampton. Pots of herbs on the deck, tomatoes and strawberries in containers, and so much more, fill Joanne’s days, along with the birds that come to visit the feeders and birdbath. “It is our outdoor living room,” she writes. “Gardening is an adventure, a discovery and a hope for the future . . a way to be connected with the earth.”

In an earlier “Reflections” column called “My Volunteer Life” (May 6), Joanne writes of her work at the East Hampton Ladies Village Improvement Society (LVIS) bookstore where “I was a happy bibliophile. I probably bought more books than I sold.” Earlier on, Joanne, an art lover, was a docent at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, giving tours and doing other work. Prior to this, “my first foray into volunteering was with the Southampton Historical Society,” she writes, where she was on the board for 10 years.

Jeff Nichols, of Montauk, has a new book out, a memoir, with an interesting title: And Then They All Puked . . .: My Experience As a (Groupon) Montauk Charter Boat Captain. Jeff is also known as a comedian, and his book description reads, “Even though his adventures are sometimes comical, he quickly realizes they are also cautionary tales.” Read the full details and learn about Jeff’s previous books on Amazon.

Tom Clavin, of Sag Harbor, whose latest book is Blood and Treasure: Daniel Boone and the Fight for America’s First Frontier, has a new column called “The Road Yet Taken” that appears every other week or so in The Southampton Press (Express Group). This week, his column is called “(Almost) On the Road Again.” In spring of 2020 his book tour for Tombstone was canceled. “The literary lockdown continued the rest of the year and well into this one, with no tour for Blood and Treasure, written with Bob Drury, published this April.” Tom writes about the Zoom events as “a necessary evil” and notes that “authors got through it – we had no other choice – but I craved the being-in-the-room interaction.” (So might I, I’m thinking, if I’m on Zoom for events.) See his columns online. Tom also has a new national weekly column called “The Overlook.” To keep up with — and possibly subscribe to — “The Overlook,” go to tomclavin.substack.com.

“In almost every major literature there are works that make you love being human, and make you love and revere the humanity of other people. That is the great potential of any art.”

— Marilynne Robinson

“One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.”

— Jeanette Walls

Have a great summer, everyone! Be well, stay safe, and keep writing and reading.

Eileen