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Showing posts from October, 2020

Need a speaker for your book club, garden club, or civic organization?

COVID-19 has put a damper on typical live author events like signings, readings, and workshops, but in a sense, it has also opened up opportunities for “garage band” authors like myself to expand their reach beyond a “reasonable driving distance.” Where doing a virtual event would have seemed weird six months ago, today even A-list writers are participating in Zoom readings, mail-in signings, and Facebook workshops. Some authors are even resorting to guerrilla marketing tactics to bring readers to theIr virtual events. Outdoor mystery writer Keith McCafferty, for instance, offered one of his exclusive hand-tied trout flies to the first 10 people to join the virtual launch party for his new book, The Bangtail Ghost . While I’m not nearly as good a fly tier (or writer) as Keith, I would be pleased to speak virtually at your bookseller, garden club, book club, or civic organization event, and, yes, I will have promotional items as giveaways. Drop me a line at and let

Speaking today at opening of new Loba-Wakol HQ in rural Anson County

I was pleased to offer few words today at the official opening of Loba-Wakol’s new North American headquarters in Wadesboro, N.C. Loba-Wakol announced in May of 2019 that they would be moving their HQ from Charlotte to the Anson County town. The company looked at more than 65 buildings in the Charlotte region before choosing Wadesboro, according to Ashley Carter, Loba-WakolNA COO. The company, a leading supplier of adhesives and finishes to the wood and resilient flooring industry, began renovations on the building shortly after the announcement, including the demolition of the former office area and the construction of a new HQ office suite. In all, Loba-Wakol is investing $6.6 million in the project which initially created 24 jobs, but will ultimately create up to 50 with the addition of a manufacturing component in 2021.  Anson County is a rural Tier 1 county an hour southeast of Charlotte. For more information, visit

FIELD NOTES: Made-for-TV Halloween

  Halloween fell on a Saturday back in 1987, and I remember it well. My wife, Janet, and I, along with our brand new beagle puppy Jake, had made all the preparations for a big night – lights, candy, cider, etc. Then ... crickets. No one showed up. It was so boring, we might as well have watched PBS. Fast forward to 2020, when Halloween again falls on a Saturday. In a year that's already seen its share of horrors, what might Oct. 31 hold? Check out this week's Field Notes column.

Netflix Rebecca is just okay

The new version of Rebecca on Netflix isn’t great, but if you haven’t read the book or seen the 1940 Hitchcock version (and I’m guessing most people haven’t) it’s a decent-enough way to spend two hours. Although the film is still set in the world of the novel, it has a much more modern sensibility. The second Mrs. de Winter of this adaptation is a far stronger and more capable character. That messes a bit with the chemistry of the story. The Hitchcock film feels more like a horror movie because the character is so powerless. By making her stronger, this feels almost like a police procedural, and that necessitates a slightly different ending.