J.D. Carpenter is the author of four books of poetry: Nightfall, Ferryland Head (Missing Link Press, 1976); Swimming at Twelve Mile (Penumbra Press, 1979); Lakeview (Black Moss Press, 1990); Compassionate Travel (Black Moss Press, 1994); and five novels: The Devil in Me (McClelland & Stewart, 2001); Bright’s Kill (Dundurn Press, 2005); 74 Miles Away (Dundurn Press, 2007); Twelve Trees (Dundurn Press, 2008); The County Murders (Cressy Lakeside, 2016). His interests include music, art, baseball, hockey, horse racing, and his six granddaughters. He and his wife, Karen Ralley, live in Prince Edward County.
1 - What are you reading?
I have subscribed toThe New Yorker for 40 years and I usually have two or three months of back issues piled on my bookshelf, waiting to be read. The magazine comes out weekly, so that's a lot of issues. Because of "sheltering in place", however, I have managed to catch up ... well, almost. I have been particularly interested in the coronavirus-related articles of Jill Lepore, a staff writer who is also a professor of history at Harvard. In the March 30 issue she wrote a survey of "the literature of contagion," touching upon writings by Sophocles, Daniel Defoe, Mary Shelley, Edgar Allen Poe, Jack London, Albert Camus, and Stephen King, among others. Her article in the April 6 issue concerned loneliness -- in general, and as it is affected by Covid-19. "Zoom is better than nothing," she wrote. "But for how long?" The March 30 issue also contained Peter Hessler's excellent "Life on Lockdown: A family's experience of China's nationwide quarantine".
2 - What are you writing?
For the past several months I have been putting the final touches on my new murder mystery, The Lake Pirates, which will be published by Cressy Lakeside Books later this month. It is a sequel to The County Murders (2016). Both novels are set in Prince Edward County and feature the same protagonist, Joe Horn, a reporter for the local newspaper. In the new book, Joe investigates the circumstances surrounding the mysterious death of a lady artist on a remote island off the County's southeastern coast.
3 - What are you recommending?
Cressy Lakeside Books has several new titles and I enthusiastically recommend them all: Peter Blendell's 3 Novellas, which was released late last year, and two novels scheduled for release later in 2020 -- S. M. Hurley's The Sevens (a sequel to Blackwater Bluff) and Laurie Scott's A Murder of Crowes (a sequel to In Like a Lion).