Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Howard Frank Mosher

Congratulations to Howard Frank Mosher for his latest novel “Walking to Gatlinburg”. It came out earlier this week.

There aren’t many writers who can make me drop what I’m doing and run to the nearest bookstore for their latest. Howard Frank Mosher is one of them. And that’s exactly what happened this past week when I learned he was out. Atticus and I drove over to White Birch Books in North Conway and picked up our copy. I also picked up a copy of his last book (“On Kingdom Mountain”) for a friend. I then called Jabberwocky down in Newburyport and bought a copy of his latest for a Newburyport and “On Kingdom Mountain” for a friend new to Mosher’s work.

If you’ve not heard of Howard Frank Mosher, you’re missing out on what of the country’s truly wonderful writers. His stories are imaginative, filled with colorful New England characters, and so gripping I make myself read slowly or else I’d finish the book in a couple of days. As a writer the one term that comes to mind about Howard Frank Mosher’s style is that it’s ‘clean’. I never read anything he’s written and say to myself, “That word doesn’t go well there.” It all flows beautifully: words into phrases, phrases into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, paragraphs into pages, pages into chapters. It comes with such an ease you fall deeply into the story and never give a thought to the writing - other than to marvel at it.

If you are familiar with Howard’s writing, none of this is new to you. You know of what I write. If you are not familiar with him, you are in for a treat. (Isn’t it great when you discover a writer you love and that writer has several books out?) This is his 11th book. You can see an entire list of them here.

Howard will be appearing at Jabberwocky, as he does with each book, in June. He’ll be up here at White Birch Books in May. His website has a list of his appearances.

Read “Walking to Gatlinburg”. You’ll thank me!

PS: As for you dog lovers, we have a bit of a mutual admiration society going on here. I admire his writing and he's a fan of Atticus.


Ellen Snyder said...

Hi Tom,

I have not heard of Howard Frank Mosher, until now. He sounds great and I will look for his books. Thanks for the reading tip. And you placed one of my favorite recent pics of Atti as your headline photo. I love the contrast of his black toe pads, nose and facial stripe against the white sofa.

We got out for a winter hike yesterday up to North Kinsman. You would not have liked the crowds, but the day and the views were beautiful. We imagined Atticus on the Fishin' Jimmy trail, quite a workout for us bipeds.

Thomas F. Ryan said...

Ellen, I'm confident you will find Howard Frank Mosher a delightful writer and storyteller. Yes, he does both well, which is something not all writers do.

As for the photo on the banner, I love that one, too. It's one of the many faces of Atticus and it's the only time I caught him posing this way in all these years. Of course he was posing that way for quite some time while I was trying to concentrate on writing so he could get me to go outside with him. I'm just glad I had the camera next to me for this shot.

The Kinsmans are beautiful and Atticus does enjoy the Fishing Jimmy Trail. We did Waumbek in the wee small hours of the morning and returned to the trailhead just after dawn. It was beautiful! Glad you guys got out.