What are your ties to Maine or the Boothbay Peninsula?
We’ve lived here in Maine for about seven years now. We had come to the midcoast area several times to do book events for Down East when we lived in Massachusetts, and when the time came to return to New England after living briefly in Maryland, we decided that the midcoast area was the right place for us.
What is your favorite thing about writing in Maine?
I love the community of writers and illustrators here. I also love being able to sit at my kitchen table with the windows open and hear the small river that runs behind my house. Inspiring!
What are the most important themes in your work?
As a nonfiction writer, curiosity is always important, and in my nonfiction work about animals, such as Little Loon and Andre, I’m always interested in how humans affect the lives of the other creatures with whom we share the planet.
Tell us about the books you will be signing at Books In Boothbay this year.
I’m not entirely sure what will be there, but here’s info on two of my latest. The Secret Galaxy came out from Tilbury House last October; it tells the story of the Milky Way galaxy in the galaxy’s own voice, including not just the science but also the cultural history of what people believed the galaxy to be when they saw it in the night sky. In July Little Loon is due out from Down East; it’s the realistic story of a loon family.
What do you hope readers will discover in your latest book?
In The Secret Galaxy, I hope that readers will be inspired to get outside and look up at the sky. Maine is a wonderful place to stargaze because we don’t have as much light pollution as many other locations do. For readers who do live in places where it’s hard to see the night sky, I wanted to show them what there is to look forward to!
What do you feel about the future of our local libraries?
Libraries are the lifeblood of any community, and they, probably more than any other community institution, reflect the changes that society is experiencing, both culturally and technologically. Not everybody is pleased that libraries aren’t just for reading silently anymore, but they’ve changed. They offer technology access to those who cannot afford it on their own, and they’re the new “town square” – the place where people come together. I think that this role will continue to grow and that librarians will continue to be the best defense against Orwell’s Big Brother, ignorance, and intolerance. I guess you could say I’m a huge fan!
Come meet Fran Hodgkins and other Maine authors at Books in Boothbay on July 11!