Tale authors react to program’s end

By Matt Krueger, mkrueger@batavianews.com

When word came out earlier this week that the “A Tale for Three Counties” community reading project had ended, it dealt a heavy blow to the readers throughout Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

For the committee members, it was a gut-wrenching decision to terminate the program after 14 successful years. For residents who turned out by the hundreds to listen to each year’s featured author, it was a disappointment. All took to social media to share their feelings and opinions. And they all expressed sadness at seeing it end.

As it turns out, the authors themselves also grieved the death of Tale. When informed of the dissolution of the project, many had the same two responses: sadness and gratitude.

Sarah Hulse turned out to be the final Tale author. Her book, “Black River,” was chosen for the 2016 installment. She described her entire experience as “wonderful.”

“It’s a real treat for an author to have the opportunity to speak with so many readers, who have already discussed and thought deeply about a book, and I enjoyed all of the events and conversations I participated in during my time in New York,” Hulse said. “I’m sorry to hear the Tale program won’t continue, but I’m sure the amazing community of readers in Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming counties will continue to share their love of books in new ways.”

Laura McBride’s novel, “We Are Called to Rise,” was the 2015 Tale book, and it was the first one-book reading program for the author. She enjoyed her time here so much, that she praised Tale to other communities.

“I’m so sad to hear this news,” she said. “A Tale for Three Counties was an extraordinary program, and inspiring to me.”

Peter Troy proved to be a popular speaker after his novel, “May the Road Rise Up to Meet You,” was chosen for the 2013 Tale event. He returned to the area twice more to speak at Tale fundraisers.

“As a writer, my characters become a part of me, as I ‘follow them around’ and try to tell their story,” Troy said. “When I first arrived at A Tale for Three Counties, it was as if Ethan, Micah, Marcella and Mary had guided me there and had been welcomed into the community already. Sharing my journey of writing the book with all those in attendance gave even greater meaning to the long road we had travelled. I will always remember those days with great fondness.”

Yannick Murphy found her participation in the 2012 program with her book, “The Call,” to be just as educational for her as it was for the participants.

“What a great program it was,” she said. “It was expertly run, and made me appreciate more than ever how important it is to connect with my readers. Thank you for the amazing experience.”

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Courtesy of Batavia Newspapers Corporation

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