Welcome Matt: ‘Tale’ authors a little late in responding

PUBLISHED: THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 201

It never fails. Each January, I contact all of the authors chosen for the “A Tale for Three Counties” community reading project to see what they’re up to. They often respond that they’re working on their next books, or touring in support of a recent release. But one of them will always respond to my emails — I sent multiple emails over two weeks — too late to be included in the annual story.

This year, I had two. Both Howard Frank Mosher and P.L. Gaus emailed me over the weekend. The story ran in Saturday’s paper.

Hey, it’s better than those who didn’t respond at all. Yes, I’m looking at you, Garth Stein. Then there were the unfortunate two who could not be reached, Leif Enger and Thomas Mullen.

So let’s catch up on what Mosher and Gaus have in store for readers in 2016.

Howard Frank Mosher (2004, “Northern Borders”): They say Vermont is for lovers, and Mosher certainly loves him some Vermont. Most of his 11 novels, including his “Tale” book, have been set in the Northeast Kingdom of the Green Mountain State. So it was no surprise that the author said his next project, his 12th, yet-unnamed novel, will revisit that same location.

“It’s a story of a grandfather and grandson being held in slavery in Vermont, of all places, and their flight to Canada,” he said.

P.L. Gaus (2009, “Separate From the World”): Gaus has made a career about using the Amish culture in his novels. He has published nine so far and is currently working on his 10th. But it was the other piece of information he shared with me that will definitely have the author’s fans doing a double-take.

“I’m working on a new series that has nothing to do with Amish culture,” Gaus said through email, causing raised eyebrows. Is he really abandoning those themes and storylines that helped build his successful career? He sure is.

Gaus released “Whiskers on the Lion” last year. It was the ninth book in the Amish-County Mystery series. But this new series is “most captivating (his) attention.” He did not share any details about the new series. That will come later.

This will be my third year affiliated with “Tale,” which has become a focal point of my year. I’m excited to meet this year’s author, S.M. Hulse, and listen to her explain how she crafted the characters and themes in her debut novel, “Black River.” And when I contact her next year for an update as a past “Tale” author, she better respond on time.

Lifestyles Editor Matt Krueger writes the weekly “Welcome Matt” column about his introduction to the Genesee-Orleans-Wyoming region.

Back to Articles 2016

Courtesy of Batavia Newspapers Corporation

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