Mosher to be on hand for unveiling of 2008 book
October 17, 2007
By Ben Beagle
BATAVIA – Author Howard Frank Mosher likes to spin great tales of the Northeast Kingdom.
He’s sure to share a few of them when he returns to Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., at 10 a.m. Monday for “A Tale for Three Counties” celebration.
The now-annual event began last year as a way for organizers of the community reading program to thank its sponsors and the thousands of readers who have participated since Tale debuted in 2003. This year’s event will also reveal the 2008 book selection.
Having an author in attendance – especially one who is a former Tale author – makes for a bigger event, according to Leslie DeLooze, the Richmond librarian who started the project.
“People are curious about the announcement” of the next book, DeLooze said, “but they are also happy to hear one of the previous authors talk again. Howard has a definite following here, and people are interested in seeing what he’s writing now and what he plans to do.”
Mosher’s ninth novel, On Kingdom Mountain was released to mostly strong reviews this summer. It is the story of Miss Jane Hubbell Kennison’s determined fight to save undeveloped Kingdom Mountain from a proposed new highway and her romance with a stunt pilot who crashes his plane onto a frozen lake near the mountain. There’s also a mystery tied to a Civil War-era bank robbery.
Mosher promoted the book’s July release during a 100-city cross-country book tour.
“With the rampant development and commercialism across the entire country, no place is really safe. I think people related to the idea that it was important to preserve some of the wild country that is still left,” Mosher said in a telephone interview from his home in Irasburg, Vt.
Mosher plans to read from the book, talk about the tour, the film adaptation of his first novel Disappearances and the people and places that have helped him create his fictional Kingdom County community.
Miss Jane, Mosher said, is partly inspired by his own Great Aunt Jane, a former teacher.”She was a stern and matriarchal lady,” said Mosher, who grew up in Central New York. “She kept close track of my report card, but also read to me Mark Twain and Charles Dickens, which were great inspirations. She was of a different era.”
And it’s remnants of a different time that Mosher discovered when he settled in the Northeast Kingdom of northern Vermont more than 40 years ago. There, he found the independent and tough-minded – some might say eccentric – individuals that inspired his characters. Mosher will share some of those inspirations in an updated version of his slide show, “Where in the World Is Kingdom County?”
“It’s an overview of my misspent life as a fiction writer,” Mosher said. “The slides will show places in New England that still look the same as 1964, when I first moved there.”
Copies of On Kingdom Mountain and Mosher’s previous novel, Waiting for Teddy Williams, in which a young Vermonter pitches the Boston Red Sox to the World Series, will be available for purchase. Proceeds from the book sales benefit the Tale program.
Beginning Tuesday, copies of the 2008 Tale selection will be available for purchase.
Mosher will also be a guest speaker Monday night at the Genesee Valley BOCES School Library System’s “Chapters” meeting. “Chapters” is a group for school librarians that meets about three times a year to hear an author.
Minnesota author Leif Enger’s Peace Like a River was the first Tale selection. subsequent authors included Mosher (Northern Borders), Maine mystery writer Julia Spencer-Fleming (In the Bleak Midwinter), a young adult historical fiction novel from Jennifer Donnelly (A Northern Light), and Wyoming writer Mark Spragg (An Unfinished Life).
Courtesy of Batavia Newspapers Corporation