Indies First!

YA author Eric Devine and I will be at Market Block Books in Troy, NY for the Indies First program on Small Business Saturday, November 29, adding writerly rum to the nog.

We’ll be greeting customers, helping holiday shoppers find good books, signing our own novels, and just pitching in. Please come see us and support a local bookstore this holiday season. I might remind you that you cannot meet dashing, early-middle-aged authors at an online megastore.


Troy Author Day 2013

troy author dayYesterday I finalized plans for TROY AUTHOR DAY.

Last spring I was part of an impromptu author discussion at a local bookstore. It was barely promoted but a decent crowd showed up, and I wondered what would happen if we rounded up lots of local talent and did spread the word. I talked to Market Block Books and The Troy Public Library, emailed a list of authors from around the Troy/Albany/Schenectady NY area, and got a great response.

So now we have twenty-three successful authors — all with local roots — gathering at the Troy, NY public library for a group signing and panel discussions. If you’re one of my local blog readers, I hope to see you there. Full details are below, as well as at

Market Block Books and The Troy Public Library present the first-ever TROY AUTHOR DAY.

WHERE: The Troy Public Library,  100 2nd Street, Troy, NY 12180 — (518) 274-7071

WHEN: Saturday, OCTOBER 19, 2013, 12-3 PM

Twenty-three of the Capital Region’s most popular authors will gather for a group book signing at the library. Copies for purchase will be available on site. Market Block Books will donate a portion of all sales to the library.

The event is free and open to the public.

Paul Grondahl of The Times Union will moderate a panel discussion about the authors’ creative processes at 1 PM. Susan Novotny of The Book House and Jessika Hazelton of Troy Book Makers will moderate a panel discussion about publishing and self-publishing at 2 PM.

Stop by for five minutes, or stay the whole time.

Featured authors: Elisa Albert, Frankie Y. Bailey, Elizabeth Brundage, Jack Casey, Susan Daitch, Eric Devine, Lydia Davis, Peter Golden, Ellen Graf, Paul Grondahl, Shane Jones, James Kunstler, Dennis Mahoney, Matthew McElligott, Eugene Mirabelli, William B. Patrick, David Salomon, Edward Schwarzschild, Hollis Seamon, Tobias Seamon, Ruth Ann Smalley, Larry Tuxbury, Barbara Ungar 

Full info can be found at



The 12,000-Pound Potato

Yesterday, right before bed, I read a news story about The Great Big Idaho Potato. It was here in my own hometown and nobody had told me. I’d never heard of it before, but it’s a 12,000-lbs. replica potato, it’s already travelled 18,000 miles cross-country, and it was parked less than five miles from my house.

It was scheduled to leave for Syracuse the following morning. I went upstairs, walked into the bedroom, and said to my wife:

“There’s a giant potato parked in Troy. I’m going to drive down and see it.”

“Go out in the hall and walk back in,” she said.

I went out in the hall and walked back in.

“What did you say?” she asked.

“There’s a giant potato parked in Troy. I’m going to drive down and see it.”

“Why am I even surprised?”

“I know! I won’t be long.”

“Be safe.”


Troy Workmanship

We spent the weekend visiting Philadelphia and learned that the bell in the tower of Independence Hall was cast in our hometown: Troy, NY. When the tour guide said that we could at least claim “2nd Most Awesome Bell in Philadelphia”, I proudly reminded him that ours didn’t crack.

Site of the Unbroken Liberty Bell