August 15, 2013
Thanks so much to Nancy Jordan and all the wonderful Long Islanders that attended my book signing at the Long Island Library last night. Nancy organized the event and promoted it well. We had a great turnout and I had a fantastic time. Of course I love talking about East of the Hague Line and it was great fun to share the back story of how I came to decide to write it. We had a question and answer exchange about how long it took to write, what were the trials and tribulations of doing a book like that one, where did the character ideas come from and more. I answered questions about the art work and publishing process. I read one of my favorite chapters about a sea rescue and everyone seemed to really enjoy it. At least 80% of the people there had read the book. That made me feel great because the folks liked it enough to spend a precious summer evening to learn more about the book and to come and hear me speak.
I learned later that this was the biggest turnouts they’ve had for an event like this and I am so proud that I was invited and could be part of the island experience. My wife and I love going down to Long Island and staying with my best friend Pat Ducale and his wife Leslie. This was truly the frosting on the Cake!! Thanks again to all. Best Gordie Holmes
March 18, 2013
Two very dear friends of ours recently moved to Colorado for the winters, to be closer to their grandchildren and I’m sure to some degree, their daughter and son in-law. Both Pat and her husband Bob had read East of the Hague Line and had, according to them, really loved the book. It was just about christmas time when Pat called me to say that she was coming back to Maine briefly, and wanted to get ten signed copies of my book. She had presented the book as a possible read for her book club out west. Naturally I was thrilled. She said she had an idea that when the ladies had read the book, and were ready to meet and discuss it, we could do a Skype meeting and I could answer their questions live. We figured out the dates and times and set it up.
Now that was really fun. This is an all ladies group and I really had no idea how they would react to this story. I’ll be candid with you. There’s a lot of rough language in this book. The characters talk as most fishermen do in an all male environment. The book isn’t vulgar by any means, but it’s not one that couldn’t upset some people sensibilities. Well, I lucked out because my Colorado ladies accepted the book for what it was. They told me they liked the believability of the characters and the raw emotions that came through in their dialog. I was pleased that no one was put off by the technicalities of the book and all the fishing jargon. Everyone in the group agreed that they had learned a lot about fishing while they were being entertained by this wild tale of life at sea.
The Joey Scanton character in my book is based on the voice and personality of my dear friend Joey Scola. He’s retired from his life at sea and now owns two great fish markets. One in Maine and one in Florida. He has copies of my book for sale at his Florida store. Price you may ask? $9.99 a pound.
Thanks for reading my blog . I can always be reached at Gordie@directmaine.com
March 4, 2013
My wife and I drove to Rockport to the Samoset Resort late thursday night. It was wet and dark and we had to take our time getting there. I was invited to be included in a book reading and signing at the annual Fisherman’s Forum. It’s an event consisting of educational seminars on all different types of commercial fishing including ground fishing to lobstering.
Early Friday morning I left the room and went down to meet my hostess Catherine Schmitt from the University of Maine. She turned out to be a nice as I had expected her to be basing that opinion on our telephone conversations and emails back and forth.
There were a total of five authors involved and I was very excited to be included. My book was the only fictional work being presented. I’m a first time writer. I know I’m a good story-teller but it was more than a little intimidating for me to be around these other extremely talented professionals.
I was explaining to someone recently about how I felt about my writing. I’m like that guy who shows up at the bar and sits down to the piano and plays some great old tunes by ear. Everybody sings along, has a few laughs, drinks a few more beers and that’s about it. People who know and understand music know that the guy has never taken the time to learn to read music and plays in the cracks from time to time, but it’s really okay with everybody there because it sounds pretty good anyway. As they say, “It is what it is!”
I had a great time getting to know the folks at the Forum. There was a table set up for us where the concentration of Forum participants were walking by to the various fishing lectures. Lots of folks.
Now this is best part. My books were selling well and that was fun. The cool thing was that I had a dozen or more people stop by and tell me they already had my book. They had gotten it for Christmas or a birthday present. Sometimes the wives had spotted it somewhere and thought this would be a book my husband would love.
These folks told me how much they had enjoyed the book. They had passed it on to other family members and in many cases it was still making the rounds. One young man in his early thirties told me it was the best book he had ever read. He said he had wanted to write me a letter and then found out that I would be at the forum and he would have a chance to introduce himself. I say this with all the humility I can express. I can’t begin to tell how moving that moment was for me. All the work and time writing the book was worth it right there in that very second knowing that I had brought that much pleasure to someone else from a small fishing community in mid coast Maine.
Thanks for reading my blog. You can always reach me at Gordie@directmaine.com
February 25, 2013
I received a wonderful invitation from the folks at the University of Maine. For the first time they are sponsoring an authors book presentation area at the Samoset Resort as part of the Fishermen’s Forum. Along with four other authors we are going to be doing readings, book signings and a question and answer session. My presentation is on Saturday March 2nd at 11:00 in the morning. The presentation is in a room called the decompression room. I’m trilled to be a part of this event. They tell me that there will be a table set up where we can sell and sign books too.
The authors have all written books that relate to the Gulf of Maine or the North Atlantic. I believe that mine is the only fictional novel. I’m pretty sure that there is a children’s author and a writer that did a historical work about fishing under sail.
I’m so pleased I’ve gotten some good reviews recently on Amazon.com. It’s incredibly gratifying to have people say nice things about your book. In all honesty I’m more interested in that part than I am in the sales volume. East of the Hague Line was written to give the readers a good look at life aboard a small offshore fishing boat before that whole way of life and all those special people that go fishing for a living are gone from their way of life forever. It pains me to see how these good folks are suffering with huge government intervention to their livelihoods based on very questionable science. I guess that’s a topic for another day. Thanks for reading my blog. I can always be reached at Gordie@directmaine.com.
January 30, 2013
I received a call yesterday from the University of Maine. They are promoting a book signing at the Maine Fisherman’s Forum. The event is scheduled for February 28th and March 1st and 2nd at the Samoset Resort in Rockport Maine. Along with four other Maine writers they invited me to do a reading with a question and answer session followed by a book signing. I’m really excited about it. My reading will be at 10:00 Saturday morning on the second. This is a great chance for me to bring the book to my target audience. East of the Hague Line was written about fisherman. My readers that have spent their lives a sea have been very complimentary about the book. One of my readers recently said he was going to re-name his cat Uncle Charley after one of his favorite characters in the book. I thought that was really cool.
Thanks for reading my blog. You can always reach me at Gordie@directmaine.com
January 21, 2013
Writing one of these blogs is like shouting into the fog. You have no idea whether or not anyone hears you. Back on November 18th I got an email from my cousin Barbara congratulating me on making the Maine Sunday Telegrams best seller list. I thought at first it was some kind of mistake. Not that I don’t believe in my book mind you, but it had only been out a few weeks at that time and I had set my expectations low to not feel the pain of disappointment if the book didn’t sell well. Writing a book is such a huge personal commitment. Just getting the book published is a very tough process let alone finding out if anybody wanted to buy it when it went out into the electronic abyss of Barnes and Nobel and Amazon.com. Seeing it on the bookshelves around Maine was really exciting. The book store owners at Longfellow Books, Nonesuch Books and The book review in Falmouth were so great to me. They were the first stores to carry my book.
That beautiful November Sunday I ran out and grabbed the paper from the driveway and found the book section of the paper. There it was. I couldn’t believe it . It came in number seven for paperback fiction. I felt so good about it because that list, had for the first time, validated the book for me. My friends and family were quick to find out about it and I got wonderful calls and emails of congratulations. That was really fun and I learned that others had much more confidence in the book than I did.
On December 23rd it made it again and this time it was number 3. It repeated again on January 6th at number three. I read anxiously through the list checking out all the competing books and realized that for those lists, East of the Hague Line , was the only one to repeat out of all ten books listed each time. Last Sunday it made number 1. All I can say is thank you one and all for making this happen. Gordie@directmaine.com