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Archive for James Hayman

Treat Yourself this Halloween to James Hayman’s “The Girl in the Glass”

The Girl in the Glass by James Hayman

The Girl in the Glass by James Hayman

Brittle leaves rattled around outside and scratched against the glass door of Longfellow Books in Portland. A group of bibliophiles, many of them writers themselves, listened to James Hayman channel Poe. This wasn’t poetry though, it was a reading from the latest in his murder mystery series set in Portland, Maine: The Girl in the Glass. Read the rest of this entry »

Jim Hayman: Looking back at the island


Full moon hovers over ferry and loading ramp

What makes an island community gasp, collectively? When an islander sells their dream house or cottage and becomes — cough — a mainlander. Author Jim Hayman has made that plunge (pardon the pun), but, in his parting, he shares what it’s like to weed some 1000 books out of his family’s library and transport them across the harbor by ferry. Read his post, “A Moving Experience,” published on the Maine Crime Writers site, one of the author resources listed here at Peaks Island Press.

Peaks Island Press offers behind-the-scenes glimpses of a vibrant, literary community perched on Peaks Island, two miles off the coast of the beautiful and award-winning city of Portland, Maine. If you haven’t already, you may subscribe in the upper right corner at

“Darkness First”: James Hayman takes us into the long nights with a good read

Author James Hayman

Author James Hayman

All across the island, residents are chopping and splitting wood or carrying it inside to stoke their stove again the November chill. And with crime fiction author James Hayman living among us, the chills are bound to keep coming. The last time I wrote about fellow island author, Jim, he had banded together with many others to raise funds to help Longfellow Books recover from storm damage of the blizzard, Nemo. Since that time, Hayman has been busy penning (or should I say keyboarding?), the third in his series of McCabe/Savage thrillers, “Darkness First.”

Islanders conduct a lot of business on our shared ferry ride, and that’s where I caught up with Jim to ask him about “Darkness First.” I was curious to know more about why Harper Collins has released it first as an e-book, rather than the traditional release as an expensive hardcover. The first “imprint” sells for the introductory price of only $2.99. Jim explained, “When Penguin U.K. offered an e-promotion on my second book, The Chill of Night, they sold some 10,000 downloads in a day. That helped me realize that e-books have more than 50% of the genre fiction market and that I should consider going that route.”

True confessions here. I don’t read e-books. You can call me a luddite, but it wouldn’t be true. I’m an aggressive and avid technology consumer, but that inclination has not invaded my nightly escape to bed where I like to hold a book and turn pages when I read voraciously. I’m sorry. I just haven’t gone there yet. I’m sure it will happen.

Newest thriller Darkness First

Newest thriller Darkness First

For those of you who do read novels digitally, you can download Darkness First to your Kindle, Nook, or iPad from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or any other e-book source. You can even read the first chapter for free at Amazon or at Jim’s website. The reviewers are saying that this is his best one yet. For insight into Jim’s process of writing a thriller series, don’t miss Bob Keyes’ interview with Hayman, splashed across the front page of today’s Portland Press Herald Audience section.

Peaks Island author, educator, and scholar Laima Vince offers Creative Writing Workshop


Laima Vince on a Peaks Island ferry

Those of you who are subscribed readers of Peaks Island Press have read previously about Peaks Island author, educator, and scholar Laima Vince when I featured one of her many books, The Ghost in Hannah’s Parlor. Given how often Laima’s speaking engagements and international scholarship draw her away, globetrotting, it’s a rare opportunity for islanders – current and aspiring – when she offers a Creative Writing Workshop. Now is your chance.

For those of you who have dreamed of writing a memoir, a novel, or a poem, Laima’s workshop series is designed for those who have written a few pages, but just don’t know how to take the writing further. “By working with structured Creative Writing exercises, they will learn how to access the unconscious mind and mine the psyche for narratives, images, metaphors. My students will learn how to shape and develop ideas and how to follow through with their writing,” Laima said.

Laima is the author of three books of literary nonfiction: Lenin’s Head on a Platter, The Snake in the Vodka Bottle, and Journey into the Backwaters of the Heart, and a novel, This is Not My Sky, in addition to other books. She has twice been awarded a Fulbright in Creative Writing and is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant in Literature. Laima earned her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Columbia University and is now working on completing a second MFA in Nonfiction at the University of New Hampshire. Laima taught Creative Writing at the University of Southern Maine for ten years and for five years was the faculty director of the Stonecoast Summer Writers’ Conference. Among Laima’s former students who wrote their first books while enrolled in her workshops are James Hayman, author of The Cutting and George Rosol, author of This Island Life.
The writing class will meet four Saturday afternoons in June, from 4 to 7 pm (June 8, 15, 22, 29).
The fee for four weeks is $100. Classes will meet at 37 Sterling Street. Please contact Laima Vince Sruoginis at or call 329-6449 to sign up.

How do I get to Peaks Island?

Who is Patricia Erikson? – I’m an author, educator, and consultant who lives on Peaks Island in Casco Bay, Maine and blogs at Peaks Island Press to keep up with the many writers whose talent and joie de vivre make this island community an amazing place. I’m also a history geek who blogs at Heritage in Maine.

Love from “the Rock”: Peaks Island Reading and Silent Auction to Benefit Longfellow Books

Fans and humidifiers dry out Longfellow Books. MPBN photo.

Fans and humidifiers dry out Longfellow Books. MPBN photo.

On Sunday, March 10th, the Peaks Island community of authors, readers, and unabashed bibliophiles will gather to raise funds to benefit their beloved, award-winning independent bookstore, Longfellow Books. As most people know, “Nemo, the Blizzard of 2013” delivered a destructive blow to the Longfellow Square-based bookstore, requiring it to close temporarily and undergo considerable repairs from damage incurred by severe flooding. Approximately half of the stock was damaged, and insurance will only partially cover the losses – you’re not surprised, I know.

Well, islanders aren’t afraid of rising waters and they’re prone to band together to make important things happen. Author Eleanor Morse is organizing a reading and silent auction to benefit Longfellow Books. Here is how you can get involved.

Eleanor Morse, at her reading at Longfellow Books

Eleanor Morse, at her recent reading at Longfellow Books

Love from the Rock

Brackett Memorial United Church

Sunday March 10th, 2:00 p.m.

  • 2.00: Children’s book (ages 8 and up) readings begin–including authors Jamie Hogan, Scott Nash and Annie O’Brien;
  • 2.30: Silent auction browsing and bidding.
  • 2.45: Adult fiction reading from authors Nicole d’Entremont, James Hayman, and Eleanor Morse
  • Coffee, tea, amazing baked goods, books for sale.

Longfellow Books is one of the last remaining indie bookstores in the Portland area. It’s
more than a store–it’s a place for people to gather, to browse, to attend readings and
events, to be a thinking and feeling human being. WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU CAN DO?

Donations of services for the silent auction (help-your-neighbor/brighten March). For instance:

  • a drawing lesson
  • magician tricks for children’s birthday party
  • juggling lessons
  • dump run
  • clean the refrigerator
  • shoot pictures for an hour
  • walk the dog/feed the cat
  • interior design color consultation
  • birthday cake/pie
  • teach dance moves

What else?–let your mind roam free! Please email Rhonda Berg at or Eleanor Morse at to set up your donation.

Donations of baked goods for the afternoon of March 10th. Coffee will be provided, and juice for kids. If you can bring a plate of goodies, please bring it to the Fellowship Hall of the Brackett Church by 1.45 on March 10th.

Hayman to Participate in Literary Barn Raising for Cynthia Thayer

“Maine has an unusually strong, tightly-woven writing community, and when tragedy happens to one of us, it impacts us all.”

(writer Shonna Milliken Humphrey in Portland Press Herald)

Darthia Farm prior to the fire

When novelist Cynthia Thayer lost nearly one hundred farm animals (among them draft horses, calves, pigs, and sheep) to a devastating barn fire on the early morning of May 7th, injuring herself in an attempt to save them, Maine’s literary community collectively gasped. Cynthia is not only a beloved member of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance community, but her Darthia Farm operates organically and participates in the Community Supported Agriculture program. Peaks Island author James Hayman joins dozens of other authors who will band together for what they’re calling a literary barn raising this Friday, June 1st from 5-8 pm at Longfellow Books in Portland.

In a Maine Crime Writers essay, Jim shared how he befriended Cynthia:

I initially met Cynthia when she came down to Peaks Island to conduct a writing workshop at the island branch of Portland Public Library.  When I was introduced to her, I told her that I was hard at work on my first fiction.
“How much have you written?” she asked.
“One hundred and fifty pages,” I replied.

James Hayman

“Would you like me to read it and give you my opinion?”
“I’d be thrilled,” I said, surprised by her generosity.
“I have to warn you,” she said, “I’m not your mother.  If I think it’s dreadful, I won’t spare your feelings.”
I told her I wouldn’t want it any other way. I emailed her the manuscript that night and she called me back less than twenty-four hours later.
“I have to tell you,” she said, “You kept me up all night.  I think the book’s terrific.” Once again, I was thrilled. These were the first words from anyone whose literary judgment I respected that made me think that maybe, just maybe I might really become a novelist. She then offered a number of suggestions on how to improve the manuscript.  In each case, she was right. Her suggestions did improve it.

From there, Jim explains, Cynthia became a good friend and mentor. He’s pleased to join the legion of friends and colleagues who are raising funds to help rebuild the barn and acquire new livestock. You can learn more about Cynthia’s writing here and either attend the book-signing event at Longfellow Books or donate to the Darthia Farm Fund.

Literary Barn Raising, June 1, 2012

In “The Chill of (Summer) Night”

Longfellow Books Advertises Release Party

Like other Mainers, Portland residents are famous for their independence. Some even call it stubborness. Longfellow Books on Monument Square is one of the few remaining independent (“fiercely independent” according to its website) bookstores in Portland. It’s also a member of the popular Buy Local movement, a campaign that encourages large changes in the regional economy through small shifts in spending habits.

Longfellow Books knows a good thing when they see it and they want you to buy this summer’s thriller from a local author – James Hayman. For that reason, a promotion for The Chill of Night‘s book release party decorates their store window.

The Chill of Night

Jim’s work ethic is Yankee in nature and he has followed the publication of his first thriller, The Cutting, with another Detective McCabe story set in Portland. See his interview on 207. I’m a fan of Jim’s and a fan of Portland’s sense of place so I don’t plan on missing this book or its release party. As a Mainer, I’m fiercely independent about these sort of things you know. See you there.

Longfellow Books

One Monument Way, Portland

June 22, 2010 7 p.m.

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