Q & A with Connecticut Authors: Eric D. Lehman
September 15, 2022 • Features & News, Q & A

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When: October 23, 2022 | 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Where: Hartford Public Library

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Q&A

COVID is still with us, although easing off a little, thank goodness. Did you have a favorite comfort genre to turn to when things were looking bleak? Something that lifted you away and to a different place for a while?

During the pandemic I oscillated between mystery novels and philosophical narratives, trying to find keys to deal with the crisis while also giving my mind a rest. I found a lot of solace in the novels of George Simenon, in Walden by Henry David Thoreau, and in The Last Undiscovered Place by David K. Leff.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I get much of my inspiration from the natural world, from Connecticut’s trap rock ridges and smooth beech trees. But also, from just being in the world with my wife, my cats, and my friends.

Who made reading important to you?

My mother began reading to me very early on, and I remember that Peter Rabbit was the first book I could read on my own. She encouraged the habit and by third grade I read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. After that, I was hooked, and have read an average of 100-150 books a year.

Where is your favorite place to read?

I live near one of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association’s “blue trails” and less than a mile away on this trail is a large rock with a view of Long Island Sound. That is my favorite spot to read…and also to just watch the world go by.

If you had the power to invite any writer or artist, dead or alive, for dinner, who would you like to have there and why?

The problem with inviting my favorite writers and artists to dinner is that because of biographies and letters I know too much about them already! So, I would rather invite someone I don’t know very well, like Sophocles or Homer, as long as we could speak the same language. I would want to know if their ideas of literature were different than the ones we have now, but also just a little bit about how they lived and wrote thousands of years ago.

Who is the most supportive person in your life when it comes to your writing?

My wife, Amy Nawrocki, is the most supportive person in my life in all ways, but in particular as a writer. She was also a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award, for her third full-length poetry collection, Mouthbrooders. So, she makes a great first reader and editor, and her poetic eye often sees things that I do not. 


Bio

Eric D. Lehman is the author of 22 books, including New England at 400, The Quotable New Englander, A History of Connecticut Food, New England Nature, Insiders Guide to Connecticut, Afoot in Connecticut, and Homegrown Terror: Benedict Arnold and the Burning of New London. His biography of Charles Stratton, Becoming Tom Thumb, won the Henry Russell Hitchcock Award from the Victorian Society of America, and was chosen as one of the American Library Association’s outstanding university press books of the year. His novella, Shadows of Paris, won the Novella of the Year contest at the Next Gen Indie Book Awards, was awarded a Silver Medal for Romance in the Foreword Review Indie Book Awards, and was a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award.

 

Synopsis

Abandoned before birth by his father Rupert Plain, rookie FBI Agent Dominic Wood finally tracks him down at a small bookshop in Massachusetts. The first thing he learns is that his father loves the author Jack Kerouac. The second is that he claims to be a werewolf.

Dominic begins an illegal investigation that will risk both his job and his sanity, as he follows Rupert’s three decade tale of homelessness and obsession. From the cliffs of Big Sur to Kerouac’s birthplace on Lupine Road, their dual quests explore the dark mysteries of the American psyche, and a generational divide comes to monstrous life. This gripping novel of fathers and sons will leave readers guessing up to the last page, and beyond.

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