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Vermont

Real-Life Mysteries Set Stage for “Black Diamond Fall”

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The disappearance of a college student. The vandalism of a famous poet’s residence. Throw in a frightful skiing accident and you’ve got the setup for Black Diamond Fall, a literary mystery by Joseph Olshan (Polis Books), best known for his works Clara’s Heart and Cloudland. The story takes place in wintry Vermont, where the author spends much of his time, and the book’s central themes are drawn from his own real-life experiences. Olshan offered some insight into the book, the plot, the characters and his writing in this BookTrib interview: BookTrib: Black Diamond Fall is based on two real events that happened in Vermont. Tell us about those events and how you tread the line between facts and literary fiction. Joseph…

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The True Story Behind “Black Diamond Fall”

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Black Diamond Fall

To write a successful novel, I have to dip my pen into autobiography; and if I don’t, I lose my way. This makes it difficult when I am writing fiction about a crime. It means weaving a tight narrative comprised of an act of violence and the mystery surrounding that act of violence with something substantial that I’ve lived through. I was lucky in my previous novel, Cloudland (Polis Books), which was based on the unsolved serial murders of seven women in a place called “the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire.” A very close friend of mine, who was like a mother figure to me, found the last of the victims: a woman in a pink parka whose body…

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Robin MacArthur Talks Vermont and More in This Friday Morning Coffee

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Robin MacArthur, author of Heart Spring Mountain (out Jan. 9, 2018 from Ecco/HarperCollins), talks to Daniel Ford about what inspired her debut novel, how her Vermont home played a role in crafting both the characters and plot, and how she infused the soundtrack playing in her head into the narrative. To learn more about Robin MacArthur, visit her official website or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.   Want to be a published writer? Enter our writing contest, where you could become a BookTrib Contributor! Deadline for submissions is January 31, 2018. Be a BookTrib Ambassador!  Sign up NOW for our weekly newsletter.  

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Rickstad’s Latest ‘Girls’ Novel is a Disturbingly Beautiful Masterpiece

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  Eric Rickstad’s The Names of Dead Girls, the sequel to his 2014 book The Silent Girls, is a commanding, beautiful masterpiece and display is soon-to-be among his best work. ‘Girls’ is intense and gripping from the very first page, all the way to the last. In a small town in Vermont, Rachel Rath knows that she is being watched, and she is positive that the man watching her is Ned Preacher, a serial rapist and murderer who killed her parents, but got out after serving only sixteen years by playing the system to get a lighter sentence. Retired detective Frank Rath has tried to keep his niece safe every way he can – even if that means not telling her the whole truth…

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Podcast: Novel Concept Episode 11 – Ellen Stimson

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Authors often talk about creating setting in their stories, but sometimes that love of place goes beyond a simple backdrop. Years ago, Ellen Stimson and her family decided to move from St. Louis to Vermont, where suddenly their daily life changed from city streets to small towns and chickens. Now, she’s the author of three books, Mud Season, Good Grief and An Old Fashioned Christmas, which all examine her life in the country. In this episode, host Rachel Carter (also from Vermont) chats with Ellen about how place can inspire you – and just how much they both love living in the green mountain state.

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Author Ellen Stimson Shares the Tattoo that Healed Her Breast Cancer

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Welcome to Personal Ink, the monthly column where we showcase authors and their tattoos. A tattoo is more than just an image – from a message of love to an act of rebellion, there’s always some kind of meaning behind what we permanently etch into our skin. This month we’re featuring Ellen Stimson, whose tattoo commemorates her beating breast cancer. Stimson is the author of Mud Season and Good Grief, two memoirs about her family moving to Vermont and the chaos that ensues. She also has an upcoming book filled with recipes, decorations, and stories, called An Old Fashioned Christmas: Sweet Traditions for the Home and Hearth, available through Countryman Press in November. In her own words, here’s how Stimson…

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From city dweller to Vermonter: Mud Season’s Ellen Stimson on love, humor and Good Grief

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After a family vacation to Vermont, Ellen Stimson and her family did what most of us only dream about – they packed up their lives and moved to the mountains, fantasizing about small town life, green trees and chicken coops. They certainly got the trees and the chicken coops, but they weren’t quite as prepared for the bears, massive snowstorms and the general disaster of buying a quaint country store. Luckily for the rest of us, Stimson describes all of these events and more in her two hilarious memoirs about small town life, Mud Season and Good Grief. Mud Season, released in 2013, is a fish-out-of-water tale describing what it’s actually like to move to a rural town in the…

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