Congratulations to the four lucky winners of our Seatales Summer Newsletter Giveaway: Noel Gilbert, FL; Sarah Foster, FL; Erin Gray, MO; and Cheryl Darnell, KY. Your copy of “Something’s Tugging on My Claw!” has shipped. If you’d like to sign up for our quarterly newsletter, which always contains a giveaway, please scroll down until you see, “Subscribe to our Seatales Newsletter” on the right. Fill out your email address, first name, and school or organization’s name, and that’s all there is to it!
Just dropped “Loki’s” molted shell off at the local taxidermist, Rick Page of “Classic Taxidermy”. The shell was really starting to fall apart at the end of our summer school programs. Rick’s going to soak the shell for a month in salt water to hydrate it, and then wire all the pieces back together. Rick didn’t even think it odd when I told him the lobster’s name, just in case he wanted to talk to him while he was working on his shell. Thank you so much, Rick, for your help!
We recently released the lobster that we used as a model for the illustrations in our book, “Something’s Tugging on My Claw!” We’re thrilled that Loki’s back in the sea again, and are excited that he lives on in the pages of our illustrated children’s book. Check out the video, and help us say good-bye!
My son recently asked me why I’ve concentrated so much time and energy this year to help Perfection To A Fault find an audience. It’s more than the glowing reviews that I received from Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus Reviews this year. It’s more than the fact that I may have been contacted by a major Hollywood studio to ascertain who owns the rights to the book. It’s because as we approach the 100th anniversary of Florence’s tragic murder, Florence’s grave still has no headstone.
When I first wrote Perfection To A Fault, my goal was to buy a headstone for Florence’s grave with the proceeds from the book. Before the book was written, most area residents weren’t aware Florence’s body was interred in Ossipee. Although the town of Ossipee knew the location of Florence’s burial site, Florence’s grave was virtually unmarked. After a speech at a Freedom NH Homecoming event I participated in, where I was asked where Florence was buried, there was a surge of interest in marking Florence’s grave. The Ossipee Historical Society, led at the time by Natalie Peterson, eventually was able to persuade the Town of Ossipee to fund a grave marker. This marker indicates Florence’s initials, F.A.S. and the dates of her birth and death. A dedication ceremony was held on September 28, 2007, the anniversary of Florence’s murder, at dusk, shortly before her lakeside cottage would have been engulfed in flames. This was an interesting choice of timing, to say the least. I planned to arrive an hour before the ceremony, but ironically, there was a terrible motorcycle accident that shut down the only route to Ossipee. Remarkably, the road opened again just as the ceremony was ending. I arrived as everyone was walking away from Florence’s grave.
While this marker is a wonderful improvement to Florence’s memory, I still haven’t given up on trying to fund a true headstone for Florence, that’s tasteful and blends with the time period of that section of the cemetery. I completed a second printing of Perfection To A Fault this June, to include some photos that readers often asked for in reviews of the book. We also enlisted the services of Kristen at Mellarium Creative, to design a more engaging cover for our story.
The reach of an independent publisher is sadly much shorter than we’d like, and even with the added effort, including the creation of a “featurette” video to allow people to remotely get a feel for the town of Ossipee and some of the important locations of the story, we haven’t yet reached the level of popularity for which we were hoping. Only time will tell whether Florence will ever get the headstone she deserves. But I firmly believe that, if you dream it, it will come. So hang in there Florence, I still see a headstone in your future.
My most memorable moment from the 2016 ALA Annual Conference didn’t happen in the exhibit hall. Instead, it occurred in a shuttle bus being transported from our hotel to the conference. I had just run as fast as I could to catch a bus that was about to leave, and I wasn’t alone. The bus door closed, and the bus began rolling, when passengers noticed a young woman coming out the of the hotel, wanting to take the bus. The bus driver was asked to stop, which he did. But the woman began to turn back to the hotel, to get out of the heat and wait for the next bus. The ALA group asked the driver to open the bus door. Then the whole bus of attendees yelled, “Come on! You can make it!” The somewhat red faced woman apprehensively turned, walked towards the bus, and boarded. As she sheepishly walked to the back of the bus to choose a seat, everyone on the bus shouted, “Never give up!” I can attest that this year’s conference attendees were truly an inspirational group of people. If you’re passionate about what you do, remember these words: “NEVER GIVE UP!” They’re words to live by.
Our author visits and sea animal programs are finished for the summer, so it’s time to take two of the horseshoe crabs that you met this year back to the beach where we found them.
We were just notified that “Something’s Tugging on My Claw!” has been chosen as a Mom’s Choice Award Recipient in Children’s Picture Books. Feels great to have our latest book acknowledged. This calls for a celebration!!
If you’d like to win one of five free copies of Perfection To A Fault from Amazon’s Kindle store, click on the link below to enter. Good luck! (The giveaway ends July 22, 2016, so be sure to enter now.)
To celebrate the book’s second printing, we’ve returned to the scene of the crime! In celebration of the second printing of Perfection To A Fault, as the 100th anniversary of this captivating story approaches, we’ve returned to many of the locations in Ossipee that were crucial to this historical, true crime story. We want to thank the Ossipee Historical Society for giving us access to the court room where the Small Murder Trial actually took place.