Friday, November 6, 2015

Lab Rats opens tonight!

LabRats_squareMy new full-length play, Lab Rats, opens in Boston tonight.  I've had a blast working with the Brown Box Theatre Project.  I couldn't asked for a better team--the director, Kyler Taustin, and I really clicked, and our cast of Brenna Fitzgerald and Marc Pierre are superb.

The show runs for the next two weeks at Atlantic Wharf in downtown Boston (Fri-Sun, 7:30pm, November 6-15, and tickets are free! (But you should reserve ahead.)  And then we go on tour to the Eastern Short of Maryland.

Opening Night day for the premiere of a new full-length play is a little like Christmas Eve. There's such great mystery and anticipation. The audience will be bringing the final gift to the production--their presence and attention. We give them our talents and energy and words. And when the lights finally go up, we unwrap it all and hope for great joy. The anticipation for that moment is wonderful and dreadful. The hours creep by. (I plan to pass the time by painting my house.) For playwrights, we're lucky if we get this moment once a year (sometimes it's a LOT longer between them). I try to do my best to savor it all, even the anxious moments of waiting.

Here's a summary of the play:
Mika and Jake earn a slim living as test subjects in medical experiments. When their waiting room banter deepens into a real relationship, these drifting twenty-somethings must navigate a treacherous maze of emotion, trust, and survival as their carefully monitored and medicated lives bleed into their true selves.Lab Rats, a World Premiere production by Boston playwright Patrick Gabridge, is a sharply comic love story that poignantly examines the raw connection between two damaged humans as they struggle to redefine what it means to escape.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Virtual Book Tour for Steering to Freedom starts tomorrow!

Pat at MIT reading croppedSeptember saw three readings of Steering to Freedom--at Porter Square Books, the Old State House Museum, and at MIT. I'm grateful to all the sponsors who brought me in and to all the book lovers and my friends who showed up to hear me read and talk about Robert Smalls. I never get tired of talking about this amazing man and his adventures during the Civil War.

Though my in person readings and signings are finished for a little while (I hope to do another at a Lab Rats show in November), I'm still working hard on spreading the word about Steering to Freedom. For this book, I'm trying something a little more ambitious. Tomorrow, I start on a virtual book tour, a blog tour on 16 different blogs, from October 5-30. I set up the tour through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Here's the schedule:


Monday, October 5
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Tuesday, October 6
Spotlight at Carpe Librum

Spotlight & Excerpt at The Never-Ending Book

Wednesday, October 7
Review at Book Nerd
Spotlight at Broken Teepee

Thursday, October 8
Character Interview at Boom Baby Reviews

Friday, October 9
Spotlight & Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Saturday, October 10
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Tuesday, October 13
Excerpt & Giveaway at Unshelfish

Thursday, October 15
Spotlight at Genre Queen

Friday, October 16
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Wednesday, October 21
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, October 22
Excerpt & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Sunday, October 25
Review at Carole’s Ramblings

Monday, October 26
Review at Worth Getting in Bed For

Tuesday, October 27
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, October 30
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Please check out the giveaways and interviews and all the other content about Steering to Freedom at some of these sites.  (And, please, make a comment, so that they know you were there.)  I'm thankful to all the bloggers for hosting me this month and for reviewing and discussion the book.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Steering to Freedom is published!

My newest novel, Steering to Freedom, has just been published by Penmore Press!

In May 1862, Robert Smalls, a slave and ship’s pilot in Charleston, South Carolina, crafts a daring plan to steal the steamship Planter and deliver it along with the crew and their families to the Union blockade. After risking his life to escape slavery, Robert faces an even more difficult challenge: convincing Abraham Lincoln to enlist black troops. Based on a true story, Steering to Freedom tells the powerful and inspirational tale of a young man who becomes the first black captain of a US military ship, while struggling to navigate a path to freedom for himself, his family, and his people.

I've been working on this project for  years, so it's a thrill to finally have this story published both in paperback and as an ebook.

You can order a copy through your local bookstore, or buy it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Penmore Press is a small publisher, so this book will need a lot of extra help in order to reach a broad readership. I know you're all busy, but I hope you will help spread the word. A mention on Facebook, Twitter, or a rating on Goodreads makes a big difference. If you enjoy it, please tell other people or write a review on Amazon or elsewhere. Most public libraries allow you to request that they add a particular book to their collection. I'm also happy to speak with book clubs, either in person or via Skype.

But most of all, I hope that you will read Steering to Freedom. Robert Smalls and his family and friends were amazing people, and their story is a thrilling and important part of American history.

(I know I've been quiet about posting here for a while, but I hope to have more soon. Including a bit of history about how this book came to be published.)