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Note to my Launch Team:

All of it, Looking Forward

I am delighted with all of you as a Launch Team!

There are 20 Amazon 5-star reviews and about 5 Goodreads reviews of the same level. Some of you wrote them. Thank you, thank you!

I’ve had sales we don’t even know where they come from! Probably from your efforts, good people.

Now, I gotta push a little.

Tut tut.

Some of you have not written a review yet, though most of you promised me you would do so early-on.

I know life happens – sometimes it happens to me, ho ho.

But I’m thinking something. I’m thinking that now would be a good time for those who have not filed a review – and who still want to – now would be a good time to finish the book and to determine what you think of it … and to shoot off a few cherry bombs into the Maine sky (as I used to, while of course heeding my mom and remembering that cherry bomb fuses burn very quick).

Word-of-mouth helps a great deal. Word-of-review helps a great deal. Word-of-social-media helps a great deal.

In recent days, I spoke with one friend who had a second baby shortly before the book appeared. I spoke with another friend who had a 10th grandchild shortly after the book appeared. Two other friends had forgotten and had left the book in their other bedroom on the other coast and were considering going back to get it (or you could just order another one for your present location, is what another friend and I suggested in our collective heads). Yet another friend – who did file a review – is re-reading the book because she wants to steep herself all over again in the minor characters, especially Enoch Warren, whom she imagines she might meet sometime on the Maine coast.

I’m in favor of all these gettings-back-into-it.

But I’ve got a new idea to help us set up the publication timing of DOWNEAST – This Blessed Assurance.

Everyone on the team should tell me in advance about any baby timing around which they need to circle in July or August. That second book is pretty darned special. I can assure you, there are scenes, even single lines, that make me cry!

Just you wait! Bet some of you will cry, too!

One of those lines, the most important one, I didn’t even anticipate or make up. As I wrote through a few paragraphs before it, I promise you I had NO IDEA what was about to be said. Then, a woman simply spoke – two sentences. That’s all. At two in the morning – in my Virginia morning, not a Maine morning – I was bawling when I turned off my laptop and went to bed.

But I’ll try not to throw Percy and Starr at you and – and wait! – who’s that other person? What in the world? Who’s that? Sitting with her back to us on the love seat in front of the Mitchell’s study’s fireplace? Sitting so we can’t see who she is.

Who is that?

I’ll try not to throw any of those persons at you while you have babies to burp and you need to fly off to the other coast to get the book again. Your encouragement after the burping? Your encouragement is that the babies let go of the table edge and wobble, with agonized intensity, three feet into your welcoming arms.

Let’s organize your fifty or so lives around my writing of other Percy Black books. How hard could that be?

I know you want to know what’s going on with Arsinoe Adel, and how Abornazine and Garden Bagay are faring in the DawnLand and what Petal’s doing with her colored pencils and why Damon suggested you do – what? – with your Klondike Bars.

Certainly – and I know this, too, about you – you want to know why Laura’s husband, teacher Jack, needed a criminal lawyer. And also, back in the day, when Percy was truly mastering his color wheel, and when he ran into Lauren Donovan and Noah Carmichael, and cute little Kate holding her mom’s hand – back in the day, when Percy first perceived that something happened on some of Miss Donovan’s masterful canvases, you want to know about that, too, don’t you?

Further, what about Percy tying himself to the mast of his Dark Harbor 17 during that blizzard fifteen miles off shore when, at age seventeen and singlehandedly, he was searching for ‘Tit Manan, wasn’t that quite a time?

Oh, but wait!

You don’t actually know about any of these events, or even about most of those people, do you? Even though Noah wrote a whole novel about how he and Lauren came to be … good novel, too, which was displayed for weeks in the front windows of Harvard Square bookstores, and was highly praised by James “Jim” Dickey and by Robert Penn “Red” Warren.

So, here’s what let’s do, you fifty review geniuses.

Take control of your lives! Don’t fill July and August with new babies and new grandchildren at random and with trips to the other coast to pick up your forgotten copy of the first Percy Black book. Don’t even throw yourself into characterizing Percy’s Marston and Martha painting called Float. How does it compare with Miss Donovan’s beachscapes where every few hundred yards or so something happened?

Sit back and … just wait. There’s more to come.

Okay, you can crunch a Klondike Bar if you must. But do it out at the end of the dock across the greensward from Breezy Shores. Make certain you have your Colt 1911 next to you. You can never be certain when Huritt might show up.

Don’t shudder. He’s not there right now. If he comes, something will happen. Someone will happen.

That’s why Someone is there.


Don’t worry.

There’s an answer to that question, but it’s a Holy Spirit thing.

I love you all. Please file your review. Thank you.


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