Writings From Covered Bridge

Celebrating The Muralist’s Ghost

poster_KarenIt’s been a good spring run for The Muralist’s Ghost, culminating in this week’s news that the novel has won recognition from the Missouri Writer’s Guild through its Walter Williams Award program. Beginning in March, the fiction received attention from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by veteran art critic, Mary Thomas, who gave background about the book and its development in conjunction with my upcoming book talk at the Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont, a small town near Pittsburgh, and the annual celebration of the murals that Maxo Vanka painted.  Both the mural gala and the book discussion were well-attended, and the morning book talk proved to be a record-setting day for the sale of The Muralist’s Ghost.

Travelling with my sister, I then made my way east in Pennsylvania for a very special visit to the former farmhouse of Maxo Vanka, the central character of the book, now inhabited by his lovely and gracious granddaughter and her family. We toured the home, exclaiming over all the artworks on the walls and the many artifacts that colored Maxo’s life. Over wine and cheese, we chatted with friends and neighbors of the family about The Muralist’s Ghost and collected more stories about the amazing, charismatic man that was Maxo.

Returning home to Columbia, Missouri, I was able to share the book and the adventure with a good crowd at one of our local independent bookstores, Village Books – many thanks to owners Becky and Doug. And I am happy to share that Joe at Yellow Dog Bookshop in downtown Columbia is also now offering the book.

My thanks to the Missouri Writers Guild for the award that honors Walter Williams, founder of the Guild which dates back to 1915. The award is designed to recognize major works in book form or other publication formats “worthy of special recognition due to the research or high literary quality involved in their creation.”  It’s the perfect capstone to a busy, productive spring.

PS For local readers, I will be speaking at the Daniel Boone Regional Library on May 28th at 7 PM. Hope to see you there!