Catching up with former ‘Tale’ authors

By Matt Krueger, published January 9, 2016

When author Laura McBride arrived in Batavia 10 months ago for “A Tale for Three Counties,” it was her first community reading program. Since then, she has added more than 15 other programs around the country.

Her debut novel, “We Are Called to Rise” has been a popular choice for book programs, and she shares her experiences in Batavia wherever she goes.

“Of course, ‘Tale’ will always be first in my heart, and I still talk about (the) program and (the) amazing readers nearly every time I speak,” she said last week through email. “I boast about how well run (it is).”

McBride is in the “finishing stages” of her second novel, but didn’t share any details about it.

Here’s a look at what some of the other past “Tale” authors are up to.

Howard Frank Mosher (2004, “Northern Borders”): Mosher released his 11th novel, “God’s Kingdom,” in October and is currently on a book tour to support it.

Julia Spencer-Fleming (2005, “In the Bleak Midwinter”): Fans can expect plenty of new material from Spencer-Fleming in the near future. The author is currently working on the ninth book in her Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series, “Hid From Our Eyes.” She’s also under contract for a 10th book.

“I hope to have a much shorter time between those two,” she said, pointing out that it has been more than two years since her most recent title, “Through the Evil Days.” “Home life has been very hectic, as my two oldest kids have come back home after college, and I have a third still in high school.”

Jennifer Donnelly (2006, “A Northern Light”): Donnelly had a heck of a year in 2015. She released three books – “Rogue Wave,” “Dark Tide” and “These Shallow Graves” – and wrote another, “Sea Spell.” She also spent a month on the road for a dual book tour.

“I am recovering,” Donnelly joked when reached earlier this week. “I’m taking a little time to catch up on the rest of my life, and to read other authors’ books, which is such a treat.”

“Sea Spell” will be released in June.

“Beyond that, some new ideas are perking, but it’s too early to talk about any of them yet,” she said.

Mark Spragg (2007, “An Unfinished Life”): Six years passed between Spragg’s “Tale” book and the follow-up, “Bone Fire,” in 2010. There will be a longer period until his next novel, which he hopes to finish this year.

“I have not been working on anything else, in that this new book has been all-encompassing,” he said.

P.L. Gaus (2009, “Separate From the World”): Gaus released the ninth book in his Amish-County Mystery Series, “Whiskers on the Lion,” in 2015 to further the adventures of Sheriff Bruce Robertson.

Garth Stein (2010, “The Art of Racing in the Rain”): Enzo, the beloved dog who narrated Stein’s “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” lives on in the new children’s book, “Hunt For Christmas Trees with Enzo,” which was released in 2015. Stein is also still taking book club invitations for “Racing,” as well as his more recent novel, “A Sudden Light.”

Hillary Jordan (2011, “Mudbound”): Jordan went futuristic with her second novel, “When She Woke,” but she’s going back to the past for her third, “Fatherlands,” which is a sequel to her “Tale” book, “Mudbound.” Jordan said she hopes to have “Fatherlands” completed this year and published in fall 2017.

A film adaptation of “Mudbound” remains in development.

Yannick Murphy (2012, “The Call”): Murphy is currently working on her eighth novel, but it’s the news she recently received about her 2014 book, “This is the Water,” that is most exciting. The film rights have been optioned.

“It will be fun to see if it ever gets produced,” Murphy said.

Peter Troy (2013, “May the Road Rise Up to Meet You”): Many “Tale” readers got an update on Troy from the man himself when he visited Albion for a fundraiser in November. As he told people that night, the author is working on the third book of his trilogy, which doesn’t have a title yet. His second novel, “Everything Which is Yes,” should have a publication date soon.

The most exciting news for Troy is something he didn’t share with the audience at the fundraiser.

“I’ve also begun outlining ‘May the Road Rise Up to Meet You’ for a mini-series script and will be working on that during the next several months,” he said when reached last week.

Karen Thompson Walker (2014, “The Age of Miracles”): Thompson Walker has kept herself busy in the two years since her Batavia visit. She has a “very busy” 18-month-old daughter, and she just began a six-month stay as a professor of creative writing at the University of Oregon.

The author continues to work on her second novel, which she hopes to finish sometime this year.

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Courtesy of Batavia Newspapers Corporation

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