Ned Hayes Writing

Ned Hayes is a voracious reader (and writer). I wrote the national bestseller THE EAGLE TREE and the historical novel SINFUL FOLK,, illustrated by New York Times bestseller Nikki McClure. Both of these books were nominated for the "Pacific Northwest Bookseller's Award." |

Bookstores: Vroman’s in Pasadena

Read at Vroman’s Bookstore




After living overseas for many years, one of my earliest memories of an American bookstore was in the 1980s, when I first walked into Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena California. The store was a revelation to me — a clean well-lighted place where books were arranged like jewels on shelves, well-read attendants who seemed like upscale librarian/sorcerers to my wondering eyes, and — best of all — a children’s reading section that had all of my favorites readily accessible in untouched hardcover editions. I’d never seen such a magical place where everyone knew how important books were in my life, and uttered their admiration for the same books in quiet loving tones. Vroman’s is southern California’s oldest and largest bookstore, but all I knew at that time was that I had landed in heaven.


In many regards, I grew up as a reader at Vroman’s. I found succor in their shelves and wonder in their book recommendations. In later years, as I frequented second-hand bookstores and went deep into academic tomes, I continued to come back to Vroman’s to continue to relish the experience of books as a pleasure, not a burden or a learning.


The characteristic that is often forgotten in the modern debate over how one buys books — or even what format one reads in — is the fact that the act of being a reader automatically invites you into a community of readers, and bookstores that embrace that reality and further that community become focal points for the reading community. It’s not just about buying books, but about building community.


Vroman’s has never forgotten that truth. In later years, after college, when I moved back to California and began teaching kids on the spectrum (and began thinking about writing my novel The Eagle Tree), I recommended the Vroman’s experience to my students, and it was exciting to see early readers share that singular early experience of walking into the same bookstore I’d loved and experiencing heaven all over again.


In a deeper way, I also came to appreciate Vroman’s nurturance of the bookish community, as I participated in reading groups at the bookstore, and met other readers in my community. I was now finding my reading companions as an adult, again, thanks to Vroman’s gentle guidance. I particularly remember a reading group discussion of a new book by my favorite poet — Mark Strand. Vroman’s book club meeting about Dark Harbor provoked a deep and thoughtful discussion.


I also enjoyed the many literary readings at Vroman’s, and I was excited to see that recently Vroman’s began to embrace indie bestselling authors as well, like my friend (and fellow medieval writer) Kathryn Le Veque whose readings and signings have been stellar successes. Kudos to Vroman’s for embracing the future of author-led publishing!


Vroman’s has a storied history. The original bookstore was founded in 1894 by Adam Clark Vroman. Born in 1856 in La Salle, Illinois, Mr. Vroman moved to Pasadena, California in the late 1800s. Mr. Vroman loved books and loved giving back to his community. He helped to rescue some of the old Franciscan missions from decay, helped establish the Southwest Museum (now part of the Autry Museum), and he was a great supporter of the Pasadena Public Library. When Mr. Vroman died in 1916, he left the bookstore to longtime employees, one of whom was the great grandfather of the current owner.


Vroman’s Bookstore holds an important place in Southern California’s history. For many years, Vroman’s was the largest bookstore west of the Mississippi, and it continues to be the oldest and largest independent bookstore in Southern California. During World War II, Vroman’s donated and delivered books to Japanese Americans interned at nearby camps, returning on several occasions despite being fired upon by camp guards!


Now that I have lived far away from California for many years, I still look back on my early experience at Vroman’s with fondness and with a bookish nostalgia. Bookstores in my mind are always mentally judged against that early Vroman’sexperience. Today, it gives me great pleasure to know that you can find my books on Vroman’s shelves.

If you’re in southern California for the Rose Parade, visiting Disneyland or for any other reason, I’d encourage you to enjoy Vroman’s multiple locations. Through the years, Vroman’s has continued to be an independently owned family business, now consisting of two Vroman’s locations, and two Vroman’s boutiques located at LAX airport. Of course, all their books are also available online at Vroman’s as well.

Vroman’s Bookstore is one of my literary touchstones, and I’m happy to share that bookstore experience with readers like you! Enjoy!




Pinterest – Ned Hayes Bookstore Board

In Search of Doors: V.E. Schwab

A simply marvelous Tolkien Lecture by the wonderful writer Victoria Schwab.


Schwab speaks of J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Susanne Clarke and so many more writers who have my world astonishing, more hopeful and yes, stranger as well. I truly enjoyed every moment of this thoughtful, insightful, challenging and evocative talk by a writer I admire and enjoy. I hope you enjoy too!


And here is a list of the books by her that I have enjoyed the most:



Superpowers don’t make you a superhero.

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates―brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. But when they discover a connection between near-death experiences and supernatural abilities, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find―aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, and driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge―but who will be left alive at the end?





Coming this September, the super-powered sequel…a woman who can turn her enemies to ash. A girl without a face. And of course, Victor Vale is back…







Ever since Cass almost drowned (okay, she did drown, but she doesn’t like to think about it), she can pull back the Veil that separates the living from the dead . . . and enter the world of spirits. Her best friend is even a ghost.

So things are already pretty strange. But they’re about to get much stranger.

When Cass’s parents start hosting a TV show about the world’s most haunted places, the family heads off to Edinburgh, Scotland. Here, graveyards, castles, and secret passageways teem with restless phantoms. And when Cass meets a girl who shares her “gift,” she realizes how much she still has to learn about the Veil — and herself.

And she’ll have to learn fast. The city of ghosts is more dangerous than she ever imagined.




In a world where violence breeds monsters, there’s no such thing as safe.


Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.






Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is a terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be.

When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.





Magic, mayhem, and multiple Londons.


Kell is one of the last Antarimagicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black. Officially he serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador. Unofficially he’s a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure. Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.





Four months have passed since the events of Darker Shade. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games-an extravagant international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries-a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port. But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned—meaning that another London must fall.







The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire. Who will crumble? Who will rise? And who will take control?




Imagine a world where the dead are shelved like books.




Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Mackenzie is Keeper, tasked with stopping often violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive. Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost, Da’s death was hard enough, but now that her little brother is gone too, Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself may crumble and fall.





Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she’s struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn’t easy — not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she’s really safe.

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She’s sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she’ll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?





Bookstores: Browsers Bookstore in Olympia



Read at Browsers Bookshop

When I moved to Olympia Washington in 2003, I had no idea that this was the town in which my bestselling novel The Eagle Tree would be set, and I had no idea that I’d gradually fall in love with this city, establish an arts magazine that extolled the wonders of the local arts scene, and find such a supportive community of fellow artists, writers and creative souls here. Back then, the city was a little funky, still dealing with the hangover of being America’s first “grunge” capital (birthplace of Nirvana, K-Records, and Riot Grrrl), and the recent shut-down of its namesake brewery.


One of the funky experiences was a little downtrodden used bookstore on the edge of downtown. Browsers Bookstore had been there since 1935, but in recent years the cover had been worn, the spine split, a few pages were missing and there were dust on the shelves. I loved it.


Here in this little used bookstore, I could find a nearly-forgotten old academic tome on Milton, an acid-stained leftover Hunter S. Thompson from the 1960s and a cheap Stephen King or Tim Powers paperback. You had to be willing to brave the netherlands of used bookstore back-shelves, but if you dug deep enough, you could make serendipitous discoveries.


In the mid-2000s, I left Olympia for a few years for a graduate fellowship, and just a few short years after my family and I returned, Browsers had a bit of a resurrection. A wonderful new owner — Andrea Griffith — had taken ownership of the bookstore. She had big plans!


Over a two year period, Andrea gradually transformed the bookstore into a shining jewel — a pocket bookstore where a revitalized and fully used upstairs buzzed with the sound of book discussion groups and writer confabs, while downstairs freshly organized shelves groaned under the weight of face-out new editions, featured new releases and special introductions to local authors and literary luminaries. Andrea proved to have extraordinarily well-refined taste in books, and her picks meet readers right where they need a literary jolt. Now Browsers Bookshop wasn’t just about used books and unexpected finds, but instead showcased the best of brand-new Northwest reading alongside the pick of world fiction and non-fiction.


BrowsersBrowsers has a wonderful history, and it’s lovely to see Andrea build on that history. Browsers Bookshop has been in downtown Olympia for 80 years. In that 80 years, four different women have owned the store. Browsers originally began in Aberdeen in 1935 as Anna Blom’s Book Shop. Anna was a Russian Jewish immigrant, born in 1884. She was self-educated, well-read and intelligent. After she divorced and with two young children, she relocated her bookstore to Olympia on the advice of the Washington Supreme Court Judge Walter Beals, who thought Olympia might better support a bookshop during the Depression.


According to Browsers‘ website and conversation with Andrea, Anna Blom’s Bookshop was first located on east Fourth Avenue, about three blocks east of Capitol Way. In 1968, Anna sold her shop to Ilene Yates, a former schoolteacher who changed the name of the shop to Browsers and eventually bought the building where Browsers is now, 107 Capitol Way. The building was for many years a tavern and needed quite a lot of work in order to make the transition from bar to bookstore. Only the front half of the shop was used and when Jenifer Stewart, one of Ilene’s employees, bought the shop in 1985, she worked to renovate the back half to also house books. Jenifer raised her two daughters while running the shop for nearly 30 years. Andrea Griffith took over in late 2014. As Andrea writes, “Browsers continues on, providing just the right book to just the right reader.”


BrowsersIn 2016, I was so excited to partner with Andrea to host my very first launch event for The Eagle Tree, which featured actors and readers like Amy Shepherd, who has been seen on stage at Harlequin Productions, Olympia Family Theater and the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts and Clarke Hallum, recently seen as “Wilbur” in Olympia Family Theater’s production of Charlotte’s Web and known for his starring role in A Christmas Story at 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle. The event also was the first big author reading for the revitalized and re-born Browser’s Bookshop in Olympia. I’m happy to report that there was standing-room only at the event.


Subsequently, many other authors and readers have been fortunate to experience Browser’s Bookshop warm hospitality and welcoming audiences, including such literary luminaries as Nancy Pearl, Maria Mudd Ruth, Jim Lynch and Nikki McClure.


Browser’s Bookshop is now truly one of the best bookstores on the West Coast. I’m excited to feature Andrea’s beautiful place as the first in a new ongoing series about my favorite bookish places.


Browser’s Bookshop is one of my literary touchstones, and I’m happy to share that bookstore experience with my readers! Enjoy!


Find my books at Browsers




Pinterest – Ned Hayes Bookstore Board

Bookstores: The Strand in New York City

In 2018, I’m writing a short series of posts on bookstores I know and love. The series was due to begin in early February, and I’ve already written love letters (not yet published) to many of the bookstores I love, and told you exactly why you should visit so many of these lovely bookish communities.


However, I decided to begin my Bookstore Series earlier than I expected, when I read the obituary for a legend of the bookselling trade whom I have met and whose bookstore I enjoyed.


Strand Books in New York City is a legend for people who love bookstores, and I had the pleasure of visiting the Strand nearly every time I went to New York and even spending time chatting with the inimitable Fred Bass, who is featured in this wonderful obit in this week’s New York Times. To be clear, I got to know Mr. Bass only perfunctorily, by way of asking about books and talking about books. But as we both enjoyed the conversation. There are few people who seemed to have so much interest in knowing the exact catalog of over “18 miles of books,” so I’ll miss him and his bookish knowledge tremendously.


Strand Books in 1938 (Photo via Strand)


Strand Books began in the 1930s, in a district long known for books. Back in the early 1900s, an entire book district covered Fourth Avenue from from Union Square to Astor Place. Fred began working for his father in this bookselling district back when he was 13 years old in 1928. Back then, many bookstores in bookseller’s row had particular specialties and antiquarian interests and Strand Books was only one among many. Yet Fred persevered. (Remind me to set a librarian-magician story in NYC’s classic bookstore district!)


Strand Books eventually moved to Broadway and began expanding under Fred Bass’s leadership in 1956. Now at Broadway on 12th Street, Strand Books took over half the ground floor of what had been a clothing store. Eventually, Strand Books took over three floors of the building and eventually added an antiquarian books department. By the late 1960s, Strand Books was the only surviving bookstore from old bookstore row in New York city.


He loved buying books. “It’s a disease,” he told New York magazine in 1977. “I get an attack, something like a panic, of book-buying. I simply must keep fresh used books flowing over my shelves.”


Fred Bass in the 1970s (Photo via Strand)

As the New York Times article points out, Fred Bass nearly single-handedly grew Strand Books into the renowed giant of bookstores it is today. The Times notes that the 70,000 books in the Fourth Avenue store swelled, at the Broadway site, to half a million by the mid-1960s and 2.5 million by the 1990s, requiring the purchase of a storage warehouse in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. By the time Mr. Bass bought the building for $8.2 million in 1997, the Strand had become the largest used bookstore in the world.


Now that’s an accomplishment! Wow!

The largest used bookstore in the world.


As the Times notes, Mr. Bass was perhaps most famous for creating a literary quiz for prospective Strand employees to take when filling out their applications. “I thought it was a quick way to find if somebody had any knowledge of books,” he told the Times. Applicants had to match 10 authors with 10 titles, and maneuver around one trick question, in an exercise that became a cherished bit of New York lore.


Credit: George Etheredge, New York Times


(Here are more details on the Strand Books quiz)


And in the mid-1990s, I met Mr. Bass himself. As always, he stood behind the counter — sometimes when I saw him he was perched on a high stool, like a king overlooking his bookish palace. He looked like a bartender of books; I almost expected him to slide a bookmark across the table to me, and say in his oddly kind New York accent “What’ll you have today? What’ll take the edge off?”


Credit: Tony Cenicola, New York Times

Yes, Fred was a pusher of books, and he got me to spend hundreds of dollars on books at the Strand over the years. “I got the dust in my blood and I never got it out,” he told McCandlish Phillips, author of City Notebook: A Reporter’s Portrait of a Vanishing New York.


Now you can find Strand Books everywhere around New York City. Besides the main bookstore on Broadway and 12th, you can also find satellite Strands in kiosks outside the entrance to Central Park on Fifth Avenue at Grand Army Plaza and downtown in the South Street Seaport. You can also find Strand Books in a smaller Flatiron district location. Finally, just last year Strand Books opened a summer-season kiosk in Times Square. You can even watch a Video Tour of Strand Books right here.


Strand Books is one of my literary touchstones, and I’m happy to share that bookstore experience with my readers! Enjoy!


Find my books at The Strand




Pinterest – Ned Hayes Bookstore Board

On Writing: Where And How I Write

I read something today that really surprised me. The brilliant Kris Rusch wrote that some writers cannot write on planes. This surprised me, because I’ve never been one of those writers who just writes in a certain location or a certain environment. Sure, it’s tempting to be one of those “special snowflake” writers, but I wouldn’t get near enough writing done if I chose that route.


Out of that thought, I thought I’d chart my own route. I thought I’d make a small list of the places and times I’ve written, just for my own amusement. 


Here’s the List of how I write:


  • Writing via different mediums (I write in notebooks, by hand, in pen and pencil. My most recent complete novel was hand-written before being typed in. I also write on various software products on Windows laptops, Mac laptops, and via audio-dictation on my phone and tablets. I’m not religious about what tools I use, but I am religious about writing every day.)
  • Writing with different instruments (I’ve written whole notebooks that are full of a scribbled mass of fiction composed with ballpoint pens, fountain pens, pencils, felt-tip pens and even a few crayon paragraphs when I couldn’t find a working pen. I’ve composed on torn scraps of paper, newspaper margins, magazines, the backs of old books, and even on restaurant napkins — oh, and occasionally, I buy a fresh clean notebook for this purpose. Typically the cheapest available.)
    • I met a writer who actually would not write unless they had their special leather-covered notebook and a fountain pen. I was wholly under-whelmed: I mean, how do you get any writing done, if you need special equipment? It’s not like rock-climbing. No one will die if you write with a pencil, my friend.
  • Writing around the clock (I’ve written at all the following times: 7-10 a.m., lunch time 11:30-1 pm, afternoon 3-6 pm, thru dinner 6-8 pm, after dinner and bedtime writing 8 pm – 12 am, late night writing 12-3 a.m., early morning writing, 4:30 am-7 am. The longest I’ve ever written one one stretch of 16 hours. The shortest is about 10 minutes at a concert once.)
  • Writing in different postures (I’ve written while standing up, while sitting at my desk, while lying down. I wrote a thought down once while riding a bicycle, but I’ve never managed to write while running.)
  • Writing at different furniture (I often write at my jerry-rigged standing desk in my home office. But I have also written sitting down in my chair, and at my kitchen counter, on the couch while hanging out with my children, in the backyard on the lawn, beside the pool at a pool party, and on top of a wine barrel at a crowded party full of people.)
  • Writing while driving (When I drive, I write 99% thru audio-dictation on a hands-free headphone/microphone, and just recently I crossed the 20K line written by audio-dictation to my phone. Only occasionally, have i hand-written a quick thought by hand on paper while driving)
  • Writing every day of the week (Yes, I’ve written Mon-Fri and Sat and Sun. I’ve written during work days, and right thru a vacation (finished a book on vacation)
  • Writing at Home (I’ve written in every room in my house, including the kitchen and the bathroom.)
  • Writing at Work (before meetings, after meetings, early morning and late afternoon. Every now and then at lunch, and only occasionally, during a meeting, when a thought occurs to me. I respect my work hours and I get a lot done at work… but it is interesting that in just a 15 minute break, I can crank in 500 words, if I have a good idea. I love my work at Intel… and it’s a great motivator for me, so I’m energized when I get to my writing after work each day.)
    • Past jobs: Once I knew I was going to get laid off at a company, so I started just writing at work until the call to the manager’s office came. I thought it would be 3 days of limbo, but they waited 3 weeks “because I looked so productive.” So I ended up finishing writing the book at that job!
  • Writing on other transport (I’ve written on my laptop and in my notebooks on public buses, public trains, small shuttle planes, large 747 planes, on small transports and as a passenger in cars.
  • Writing while waiting (I relish getting way-laid by a delayed flight in an airport or while sitting on an airplane, because it’s almost like I can step out of time, and have a dedicated hour or two to write. I love sitting on a plane, stuck there with nothing but a notebook, a pen OR a laptop. I can get a couple hours of writing in while everyone is whining around me. It’s heaven to know that no one can bother me: I’m stuck outside of time, able to do nothing but write.)

An ideal day is when I get writing in. It doesn’t matter if I have a two hour commute by car (I can write by audio dictation), or if I’m stuck in an airport (yay, time out just to write!), or if I’m at home (I can wake up early and write in peace and quiet in my home office before work or Saturday chores).


I don’t care where I am: I can write.


A literary update from
Readers can find my books at these bookstores:



Amazon bookstore Barnes & Noble Indie Bookstores






How to Get a Signed, Personalized Copy of Any of My Books, Shipped Anywhere in the World!

The wonderful owner of my local bookstore Browsers Bookstore (Andrea Griffith) here in Olympia, Washington has volunteered to fill orders for signed, personalized editions of my novels for the holidays. I get down to Browsers at least once a week, so I’ll drop in regularly between now and Christmas to sign and personalize book orders you place with Browsers for The Eagle TreeSinful Folk or other books. Books make fabulous gifts, and Browsers can ship anywhere!


Here’s the page on Browsers’ website.

To order a signed personalized book, call Andrea at
1-360-357-7462 or email her at


(Fun Fact: my first reading for The Eagle Tree was at Browsers back in spring 2016!)


Ned Hayes


Exciting to see the new Chinese edition of THE EAGLE TREE now available:

Poem for Rosh Hashanah

poem by Ned Hayes


Rosh Hashanah comes
    this year
on a day of cool wind,


a breathtaking
portent of winter


taking the world, rude lover
the sheets away.


in autumn
the sadness of all things


is greatest
   for now
the world was created.


the new fruit, shot through
with decay:


birthed in the same
the racing seed
   and the worm.

Storied Life

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry - Gabrielle Zevin

A slight whimsical novel that encapsulates the important moments in the life of an over-educated curmudgeonly bookseller who unexpectedly meets the love of his life, a child to raise and complications that open up his hermetic island existence. 


A lovely book about a man who loves words and stories and the people who are part of his life. It's a little too heavy on the literary references -- but the storytelling itself has a light touch and is crafted in a way that foregrounds the beautifully limned characters and thoughtful plot twists. Reminds me in some ways of the careful crafting that goes into John Irving's books, but with a shorter path to the resolution. 


A great light but meaningful read for people who love bookstores and words. For readers who may not be familiar with the literary references, the book may feel a little ponderous. 


A James Baldwin quote for his birthday -- August 2, 1924


Thanks to everyone for your  lovely support for my novel THE EAGLE TREE. The book has done so wonderfully well worldwide -- recently, I found out that the book has been read by nearly 100,000 people already! Wow!


I'm also surprised to discover that we're at nearly 1,000 reviews on Amazon. If you have read the book and haven't quite gotten around to posting a review, it would sure be great if you could post a review. Doesn't matter if it's negative, positive, or meh. Any review helps a book to gain more visibility, as it means that readers are engaged with the book.


Write a review today >>


Fiction like a garrot

The Drop - Dennis Lehane

Powerful compactly wound crime fiction, by the author of MYSTIC RIVER. A book that's pulled as tight as a garrot against the neck. The main character is a walking cipher, both to himself and others. His moral choices have landed him a gray world of walking alienation, but he's generally a sympathetic character. A powerful book, but not a world I'd care to live in.


Powerful historical fiction

March - Geraldine Brooks

Historical fiction with a powerful grounding in both the fictive world of Louisa May Alcott ("Little Women") as well as the real history of the American Civil War. A pitiable and complicated main character (March) leaves his family to fight in the war as a committed abolitionist. As the father of Jo and Beth and Amy from Little Women, we get to hear his side of what was happening in this critical period in U.S. history.

I found the premise more intriguing than the execution, but I liked the way in which his life and decisions had complicated outcomes, not predictable ones that were clearly heroic. The story reflects the complications and horror of the Civil War itself, and capably demonstrates the terrible life of slavery and its affects on human beings in that period.


Wings -- a quote from Gustave Flaubert, who died today, May 8, 1880


Thanks to Amazon's bookstore for featuring THE EAGLE TREE so prominently! 


THE EAGLE TREE at Boston Harbor School

I had a wonderful time presenting to the school assembly at Boston Harbor School in Olympia Washington last week. What a great group of K-5 students with fantastic questions about being a writer and a lovely discussion of books they love, including my bestselling novel THE EAGLE TREE.


Here's the basic slideshow I presented (with lots of discussion and interesting anecdotes to fill out this skeleton frame of a presentation

Follow Ned Hayes - Writer's board Book Quotes - New Novel Sinful Folk on Pinterest.
I'm an Ethical Author