Three Local Authors To Sign Books Over Holiday Weekend

by Debra Lawless
Author Matt Fitzpatrick.  COURTESY PHOTO Author Matt Fitzpatrick. COURTESY PHOTO

Book signing events this Thanksgiving weekend are well-timed so that you can meet the author of a crime novel set in Chatham, the co-authors of a book of ruminations on fishing and friendship, and an author who will teach you about the treasures buried on the seafloor.

Matt Fitzpatrick is back with his first crime novel set in Chatham, “Forsythia’s Ride” (Van Velzer Press, 2023).

While the book opens in New York City, “it’s a Chatham book throughout,” Fitzpatrick says. “It’s a coming of age story that draws on our town and the local flavor.”

When the book begins, the title character, Forsythia, “Fory” to her friends, has stolen her boss’s briefcase. “The story immediately takes on a Kafkaesque dilemma,” Fitzpatrick says, “and she flees to the Cape to find peace and solace.”

The plot, of course, only thickens when Forsythia arrives in Chatham seeking refuge with her eccentric, aging aunt Mary in Eastward Point. Here’s how Fitzpatrick describes the “very private, very exclusive” neighborhood: “Decades before, this area was a U.S. Navy dirigible base. It was engaged in both world wars. The military installation spread throughout the neighborhood.” Mary’s house is guarded with a camera security system. Here’s what Forsythia doesn’t know: Mary was an operative for the IRA.

“That Chatham full moon over Bassing Harbor was the catalyst for the story,” Fitzpatrick says. “Living in Chatham full-time during COVID was the perfect opportunity to take in so much of our town’s natural beauty, and to write about what you see and what you know, witness and absorb.”

“Forsythia’s Ride” is Fitzpatrick’s fourth novel. His first novel in 2018 was “Crosshairs: A Justin McGee Mystery.” Fitzpatrick will sign “Forsythia’s Ride” on Friday, Nov. 24 from noon until 5:30 p.m. at Yellow Umbrella Books in Chatham. He will also speak about the book at the Eldredge Public Library on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m.

Adam Gamble of Sandwich, publisher of the Good Night Books series, has teamed up with New York Times bestselling author Michael J. Tougias to write “The Power of Positive Fishing: A Story of Friendship and the Quest for Happiness” (Lyons Press, 2023). Both men are prolific authors. Gamble is the author of “In the Footsteps of Thoreau” among other titles, while Tougias co-authored “The Finest Hours” and other books.

Tougias and Gamble met back in 2001. While Tougias is 12 years Gamble’s senior, they got on well, and eventually went fishing from kayaks. And they kept on fishing.

One way to co-author a book while retaining each author’s unique voice is to write in alternating chapters, which Gamble and Tougias do. While the chapters center around fishing on or near Cape Cod, the story also extolls friendship and offers life lessons.

When asked why he wrote the book, Gamble said, “It’s also about our communing with nature. The overwhelming sense of gratitude I get from spending long hours in outer nature needed an outlet. This book gave me a venue for expressing that gratitude.”

One reviewer describes the book as “a nice little buffet of experience.” Reviewers also note that the book offers something to both fishermen and those who never go near the water.

Gamble will sign “The Power of Positive Fishing” on Saturday, Nov. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Goose Hummock Shops in Orleans.

Martin W. Sandler is the author of 68 books. His book “1919, The Year That Changed America” won a National Book Award for Young People’s Literature in 2019. But his most recent book — “Shipwrecked: Diving for Hidden Time Capsules on the Ocean Floor” (Astra Young Readers, 2023) — is the one book that he wrote based on a single quote, he said during a recent telephone interview.

Here’s the quote: “The vast ocean floor is the world’s greatest museum.”

Think about it, Sandler says. Sites on land have been excavated, looted and destroyed by the weather. A shipwreck, on the other hand, is a “time capsule instantly.”

And here’s some of what we’re learning from the estimated three million ships on the ocean floor, Sandler says: how people worked, lived and what trade routes they followed in their time. “It’s just extraordinary.”

The book, recommended for readers ages 10 through 14, explores ships as varied as the Shinan, a Chinese merchant ship that sank in the 1300s, to the HMS Erebus and Terror, two polar exploration ships that sank in the early 1800s. The book is lavishly illustrated with photographs and diagrams. Sandler says he stayed away from ships such as the Titanic and focused on wrecks that are less known.

Once he decided on his project, Sandler read and researched extensively. “The most fun thing for me is the research,” he says. “It’s like a big detective puzzle.”

Sandler will sign copies of “Shipwrecked: Diving for Hidden Time Capsules on the Ocean Floor” on Saturday, Nov. 25 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Where the Sidewalk Ends in Chatham.