The Lucy Alice under sail in Prince William Sound.
I’ve been kayaking for about 25 years but recently just completed my first sailing trip.
Four of us lived on a 28-foot sailboat for a week in Prince William Sound. Quarters were cozy but we all got along fine.
Using the wind to the best of our ability.
We had a couple days of clear skies.
Midnight Moonrise under clear skies.
One of four Orcas we encountered.
Followed by several days of rain.
One of the many icebergs we saw.
My friends who own the boat were in the middle of reading Surviving Bear Island. Each night I got to read a chapter or two out loud to them as we rocked at anchor in the place where Surviving Bear Island is set.
Our nightly reading of Surviving Bear Island inside the cozy Lucy Alice.
We made it back to port safely.
Unofficial greeter just outside the port of Valdez.
I went on to do a couple of book events in more traditional locations.
Fireside Books, Palmer, Alaska.
Barnes & Noble, Anchorage, Alaska.
Barnes & Noble
Thanks for stopping by.
Posted in Alaska, Surviving Bear Island | Tagged Alaska, Book Event, Paul Greci, Prince William Sound, Surviving Bear Island | 10 Comments »
The past three years I’ve been incredibly busy and this has resulted in lots of blog-neglect on my part. After sixteen years of teaching I decided to pursue my Special Education Credential, which basically entailed taking many graduate classes both at night and during the summers while also teaching. After a three year blitz, I completed the program.
At the same time, I got my first book contract and was working on rewrites of Surviving Bear Island, which came out in March. The learning curve of having my first book out, plus being in Graduate School while also teaching squeezed out other things in my life, like blogging. I was able to keep up with my once a month posts at Project Mayhem.
The past few weeks I’ve been spending time at a local wetland and have witnessed a family of Beavers working over the area. I’ve seem them cut down trees, haul them across the water to their lodge and continually eat leaves, all the while being on the look out for predators. Yes, they are busy!!
If I had to do the three years over again, I’d probably do what I did even though certain stretches were brutal in terms of having a new teaching job, graduate level work due, and revisions due all at the same time.
I don’t have any words of wisdom here. I’m a person with a generally positive outlook on life so I focused on being grateful that I had all these things in my life.
I hope to post more regularly, not just updates about my book, and share what I’ve been up to now that my head is above the water enough to take a look around.
Thanks for stopping by!!
Posted in Alaska, Surviving Bear Island, Writing | Tagged Alaska, Paul Greci, Surviving Bear Island, wildlife | 6 Comments »
The Alaska reviews are coming in steadily for Surviving Bear Island. The most recent review is from the Alaska Dispatch, Alaska’s largest newspaper.
Here’s a couple snippets from the review:
“Greci has taken a popular if somewhat shopworn theme of juvenile literature — being marooned — and given it new vitality. You needn’t be a kid to stay up late reading this one.“–David James, Alaska Dispatch.
“The challenge for any author taking up this well-worn theme is to create a compelling narrative while avoiding the pitfall of letting his or her story lapse into formula. In his debut novel, “Surviving Bear Island,” Fairbanks writer Paul Greci manages to do just that with a book that is written for young adult readers but that contains enough complexity and character growth to appeal to adults as well.” –David James, Alaska Dispatch.
You can read the full review by clicking on the title below.
Genre-busting ‘Bear Island’ delivers fresh approach to an old theme
For all reviews, click here.
Purchase a copy.
Barnes & Noble
Thanks for stopping by.
Posted in Alaska, Book Review, Surviving Bear Island | Tagged Alaska, Alaskana Fiction, middle grade adventure, Paul Greci, Surviving Bear Island | 4 Comments »
The people at Barnes and Noble in Mishawaka, Indiana were kind enough to send me this photo. It’s my first official Bookstore sighting of Surviving Bear Island. And, it’s in a bookstore just a few miles from where I grew up. I’ve had a flurry of activity the last couple of days setting up three events: A school visit in Fairbanks on April 29th, a reading in Fairbanks on May 2nd, and a book signing in Indiana on June 27th. Details can be found here.
If you spot Surviving Bear Island in a bookstore or library I’d love to see photos. Or, if you have a copy I’d love to see a photo of you with the book in your hands.
Thanks for stopping by.
Purchase at Amazon or Barnes and Noble
Posted in Surviving Bear Island | Tagged Barnes and Noble, Bookstore, Indiana, Junior Library Guild, Mishawaka, Paul Greci, Surviving Bear Island | 2 Comments »
Thanks to all who participated in the contest and who stopped by to give the blog post a read. Surviving Bear Island is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble and Independent Bookstores. If your local bookstore doesn’t have Surviving Bear Island, just ask them to order it for you.
If you want to learn about the story-behind-the-story of Surviving Bear Island, I was interviewed at Cynsations. There are photos of Surviving Bear island territory in the interview!!
If you want to read the first chapter of Surviving Bear Island you can do so here.
Thanks to some assistance from Random.org, here are the winners:
Debby Herceg Kim Thal
Sharon Sjordal Stephanie Keyes
Tyler Bender Carl R.
Lou Marcy Collier
Jim Chaize Denise Goshert
I’ve emailed them all and hope to hear back from each of them soon!!
Thanks for stopping by!!!
Posted in Alaska, contests and giveaways, Surviving Bear Island | Tagged Alaska, middle grade adventure, Middle Grade Fiction, Move Books, Paul Greci, Survival Stories, Surviving Bear Island | 3 Comments »
Surviving Bear Island hits the shelves today in independent bookstores and libraries. It’s also available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
To celebrate the release of my debut novel I am going to giveaway TEN, shiny copies!!! Even you already have a copy you are free to enter. Maybe you want to give one to a friend or to a school in your area, or to some other organization that works with kids.
Surviving Bear Island is a 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection.
Here are snippets of the reviews coming in from the media thus far:
Kirkus: “a terrific thrill on the page.”
Juneau Empire: “Surviving Bear Island is an exciting book outdoors-minded boys and girls both will enjoy….It’s fast paced enough to keep reluctant readers’ attention, but it also avoids oversimplification while communicating real-life dilemmas in understandable ways .”
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: “Surviving Bear Island is a heart-pounding adventure that both kids and adults will enjoy…It follows its hero through a brilliant coming-of-age the likes of which are unlikely to be found anywhere outside Alaska.”
Here’s how to enter the contest: Leave a comment below to be entered once.
Share the link and tell me where you shared it to receive an extra entry and double your chances of winning.
Don’t forget to leave your email address if it is not readily available when I click on your name so I can contact you if you win.
The contest is open until midnight, Friday, March 27th Eastern Time.
I’ll announce the winners by Tuesday, March 31st at the latest. They will be chosen by a random number generator.
Finally, please ask your local libraries and bookstores to carry Surviving Bear Island. Word of mouth is still the best way for books to be discovered by people who love them.
Thanks for stopping by!
Posted in Alaska, contests and giveaways, Surviving Bear Island, Teachers | Tagged Alaska Fiction, middle grade adventure, Move Books, Paul Greci, Survival Stories, Surviving Bear Island | 44 Comments »
A couple days ago, I did my first Surviving Bear Island school visits. I visited two schools where I was student back in the 70’s, John Marshall and Andrew Jackson Intermediate Schools for grades five to eight.
I felt very taken care of at both schools. The visits were set up on really short notice and the school staff did a fantastic job of being prepared. And the kids were just awesome and full of questions about writing and about Alaska.
Later that day, I got my first letter from a student who had read my book.
The next night I went out to dinner with my high school English Teacher and signed books for him and for the school library.
If you’d like to schedule a school visit or book signing check out my schedule and contact information by clicking here.
Surviving Bear Island comes out March 25th. Look for it in bookstores or order online now at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
On the 25th I’ll be celebrating the release of Surviving Bear Island and will be giving away ten copies of my book!! One of them could be yours!!
I hope you’ll stop by then for a chance to win!!!
Posted in Alaska, contests and giveaways, reading, Surviving Bear Island, Teachers, Writing | Tagged Alaska, Alaska Fiction, middle grade adventure, Move Books, Paul Greci, School Visits, South Bend, South Bend Schools, Surviving Bear Island | 6 Comments »