Author Travels State for ‘The Signs of Connecticut’

By Jason Harris

Tom Fatone

Author Thomas Fatone took over 15 years to complete his book, The Signs of Connecticut. It took him 13 years to drive around the state taking the pictures of all the blue town history signs and another two years to write the book, he said.

1. What was the impetus behind the book?

My impetus behind the book was my interest in history within the state I live. I also did not have much money to travel to far places when I was younger, so I decided to make Connecticut my own little playground, traveling to all corners of  our great state. The CT Post did a story about me when I was 50 signs in. They said “give us a call when you write your book.”

2. What year did you start the project? How old were you at the time?

My project began with my 1st picture of the Trumbull Sign in 1997. I was approx. 29 years old at this time, still had hair and was wet behind the ears. It had taken me a lifetime to finally stop and take a picture of this 1st sign. From there on in, I was hooked!

Photo courtesy of the Connecticut Post.

Photo courtesy of the Connecticut Post.

3. Did your job as a traffic coordinator for the Department of Transportation inspire this project? And did having the job help you in your project at all?

Working as a traffic coordinator helped me a great deal when it came to this book. My job has me dealing with maps often. So by working with the maps, it helped me a great deal in getting familiar with the roads before they were traveled.

4. What were some of the most memorable towns in Connecticut that you visited?

This is a question I receive often. There is not one favorite town, but I like to go with my top 5. They would be, in no order: Washington, Ridgefield, Milford, Woodstock and Branford. This list could continue, but these are the most memorable.

5. Since you will be speaking at Books & Boos in Colchester in March, did you learn anything about Colchester when you took a picture of the Colchester sign? 

The thing that’s stands out about Colchester is that it seems all the state roads in the state come together here at the town green. I also, learned about legendary Harry’s, as it was right down the road. Of course, I stopped for a hot dog and shake.

6. Where is the Colchester sign located?

The Colchester sign is located on its town green, like most of the 169 signs. But not all.

7. Did you learn anything about the different Connecticut towns during your travels that you didn’t know about them? 

There are so many things I learned about CT while traveling the state and taking the pictures of the signs. This is why I wrote this book, as I wanted to share my experience. Some that stand out are that the highest point of the state is in Salisbury, visiting the Book Barn in Niantic, and that Mystic is not officially one of the 169 towns. How about getting books for buying a meal at the Travelers Restaurant in Enfield?

8. Since you have been to all 169 towns of Connecticut, have you thought about writing a book about what each town offers and what people can find there?

In my book, I not only have taken the pictures of the blue town history signs, but I have also documented my experience as well. It’s two stories in one. You have the history of the town itself based on what is written on the sign. Then you have my experience, based on a place I ate, a person I met, a picture I took and anything off the beaten path.

9. Do you have any current projects?

At this time, I have no current projects in mind, though I would love to do another book. Maybe boroughs of Connecticut, more signs of Connecticut or anything Connecticut. I love this state!

You can order The Signs of Connecticut here. You can also check out the book’s Facebook page here.

Thomas Fatone will be at Books & Boos with his book, The Signs of Connecticut, on Saturday, March 8, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. He will talk about his experience working on the book and answer any questions about this endeavor.

January Sale at Books and Boos

 

Books & Boos, an independent bookstore in Colchester, CT. is having a sale, which started this past Tuesday and runs through the end of the month. You buy three used books and get the fourth one free (of equal or lesser value). They offer used books of all genres.

The bookstore also sells new books by local, Connecticut, and New England authors including Dale T. Phillips, Stacey Longo, Dan Waters, Jan Kozlowski, and Kristi Petersen Schoonover to name only a few. They carry over 50 plus authors on consignment.

The bookstore also sells Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games bookmarks made by a local company, zombie Poe t-shirts, and other interesting items.

Game of Thrones booksmarks.

Game of Thrones booksmarks.

Hunger Games bookmarks.

Hunger Games bookmarks.

Books and Boos' Zombie Poe t-shirt.

Books and Boos’ Zombie Poe t-shirt.

You can find everything mentioned here in the physical store, but some of the items are available through the bookstore’s website. If you are looking for a particular book, they can work with you through Paypal or put it on the website for you. Just give them a call at (860) 861-6214.

Books & Boos also has an Amazon storefront.

You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Looking for a Convention?

 

It’s Black Friday. You’re either still in a turkey coma, out in the crowds looking for deals, relaxing at home, or looking for your next convention fix. If you’re looking for a convention then I have the perfect gift for you. Here’s a website, Upcoming Cons, that I recently found. It can be a good resource to find the next convention to attend. Conventions can be found by location or genre such as literature, furry, comics, horror, or steampunk.

‘War of the Worlds’ Live on Stage

A DIFFERENT KIND OF HALLOWEEN


Infamous Radio Broadcast Recreated on October 31 at The Arlington Regent Theatre
Event benefits new documentary about the Orson Welles Cinema.

On October 30, 1938, The Orson Welles Mercury Theatre broadcast H.G. Wells’ classic tale of interplanetary battle with War of the Worlds and stunned the nation as many who heard it were convinced that a real invasion was taking place. It was one of the first times that the power of radio was on full display, and it resulted in new regulations about what and how news could be presented on the public airwaves. On October 31, 2013, the Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA, will commemorate the 75th anniversary with a live theatre event recreating one of the most famous radio plays ever produced.

This new War of the Worlds theatre recreation will use classic Foley audio techniques (where sound effects are produced mechanically where possible) and will feature a cast of local media celebrities, including Christopher Lydon from WGBH; cultural reporter Joyce Kulhawik; RadioBDC on-air personality Henry Santoro; Cha-Chi LoPrette from 100.7 WZLX, and others to be announced. The production will be directed by Nerissa Williams with Foley direction by Austen Wright and Hal Wagner.

The live event will raise funds for The Orson Welles Complex, a new documentary produced and directed by Garen Daly about the legendary Cambridge art house. As one of the Cinema’s managers during its heyday, Daly is chronicling the unique story of the Welles with cinematographer Austin de Besche, noted for his work with John Sayles, among others.

“What more fitting tribute than to recreate War of the Worlds, the broadcast that launched Orson Welles’ career in the movies, as we embark on preserving the memory of the Orson Welles Cinema in a documentary film,” said Daly. “We thought it would be a lot of fun and a great way to commemorate the anniversary on Halloween night.”

For those living in the Cambridge area in the 1970s and 1980s, the Orson Welles Cinema figures prominently in their memories. Patrons enthusiastically relished the innovative programming that included midnight movies, revivals, and European films. Viewers discovered Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, and many others at the Welles. Tommy Lee Jones was the Cinema’s first manager, and Stephen King included the Welles in three of his stories. Through the years, the Cinema added a film school and a restaurant, and it spawned a generation of people dedicated to the arts who influenced the industry.

Daly’s documentary, The Orson Welles Complex, is scheduled to release in 2015. Follow news and updates at www.facebook.com/OrsonWellesCinema.

War of the Worlds live theatre event will take place Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA. Tickets are $20.00 in advance and $25.00 at the door. Purchase at the Regent Theatre box office or online at www.BostonSci-Fi.com/WaroftheWorlds.

The Regent Theatre is located at 7 Medford Street, Arlington, MA. (781) 646-4849 www.regentheatre.com

 

Author at Bozrah Farmer’s Market

Author Stacey Longo was at the Bozrah Farmer’s Market recently for Connecticut Author’s Night. She was one of 18 authors at the event.

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Longo has a collection of 12 stories, Secret Things, coming out in October. She is also editing Wicked Seasons,which is the New England Horror Writers’ second anthology. It will debut at this year’s Anthocon in November. You can see the TOC here and the front and back covers here.

Books and Boos and the NEHW at the Upcoming New England Author Expo – Book Sale

The New England Author Expo – Book Sale is a week away. It happens next Wednesday, July 31 from 4 p.m to 9 p.m. in Danvers, MA.

This expo has over 50 authors attending it. You can find out who is attending here.

The Expo will also be attended by artists, illustrators and photographers such as KC Bowman, Brian Codagnone, and Lisa Greenleaf.

There will also be publishing and writing related groups such as Independent Publishers of New England and the New England Horror Writers organization. There are a number of NEHW members attending this show. There will be three members at the NEHW table; Scott Goudsward, Rob Smales, David Price, and Ken Wood. There will be six members at the Books & Boos table; Michael J. Evans, Stacey Longo, Erin Thorne, Rob Watts, and T.T. Zuma. A few members, Tracy Carbone, Dale T. Phillips, and Vlad Vaslyn have their own tables at the expo.

This expo has been happening for a number of years. It was started and is organized by Christopher Obert and his company, Pear Tree Publishing. It takes place in the Harborview Ballroom at the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, MA. from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The yacht club is located at 161 Elliott Street (Rte. 62) in Danvers.

NEHW Member Up for a Spinetingler Award

New England Horror Writer member Jan Kozlowski’s first novel, Die, You Bastard Die!, has been nominated for a 2013 Spinetingler Award in the Best Novella/Short Novel category.

People can start voting in this category and five other ones today. The polls will be open until the end of April. Click here to start voting in the different categories.Die You Bastard Die

 

Horror Community Loses a Friend

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Today was a sad day for the New England Horror Writers. We lost not only a member, but also an outstanding author. Along with being a friend and supporter of the NEHW, Rick Hautala was also a great guy, who was down to earth and easy to talk to about writing, movies, music and more.

Please keep Rick’s wife, fellow author and NEHW member Holly Newstein Hautala and the Hautala family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Hartford Flick Fest at New Theatre

Hartford Flick Fest at new Spotlight Theatres – Dec. 6 – 9

Four-day international film festival will screen more than 25 independent films, host industry panels, awards gala and more at brand-new venue on Front Street

HARTFORD — The Hartford Flick Fest is returning to Connecticut’s capital city in its fourth year, and will be hosted by the new Spotlight Theatres – Front Street. The four-day international film festival will be held Thursday, Dec. 6, through Sunday, Dec. 9.

The festival’s opening night gala, awards reception, industry panels and film screenings will be held at Hartford’s new premiere movie destination, Spotlight Theatres (39 Front St.). 

Formerly known as the Silk City Flick Fest, the Hartford Flick Fest’s new name honors the city that has embraced it over the past few years. First held in Manchester, Conn., in 2009, the festival moved to Hartford in 2010 to support its growth, and to take advantage of the city’s burgeoning arts scene and nightlife – hosting many film screenings, panel discussions, workshops, filmmaker question-and-answer sessions, and parties over the course of a busy and entertaining weekend.
       
Movies have been submitted to HFF this year by filmmakers from New York to California, and from all around the world – including entries from the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic. More than 25 films will be screened during the festival.
       
Tickets will be available at the door for all film screenings, parties and panels. More information to come as the schedule is finalized. Check out the festival’s website, hartfordflickfest.com

Author Speaks to Students

On Nov. 8, Stacey Longo, author and Co-chair of the New England Horror Writers, spoke to a couple of groups of students at the Putnam Middle School. She read her children’s book, Pookie and the Lost and Found Friend, to them.

Author Stacey Longo signing a book for a young fan. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author surrounded by readers. Photo by Jason Harris.

Photo by Jason Harris.

Author Stacey Longo reading her book, Pookie and the Lost and Found Friend. Photo by Jason Harris.

Photo by Jason Harris.

Along with writing stories and books, Longo is the co-owner of a bookstore, Books and Boos, which opens its doors Tuesday, Nov. 20. The store is located at 514 Westchester Road in Colchester, Connecticut.