Big welcome to Marcia Butler, who joins us this week to discuss her latest book, Oslo, Maine, which launches TODAY
Author Name: Marcia Butler
Book Title: Oslo, Maine
Book Genre: Upmarket Fiction
Release Date: March 2, 2021
Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing
Welcome to the blog, Marcia! Please describe Oslo, Maine.
When an accident with a moose claims the memory of a young boy, three families are set on a journey of denial, addiction, and reckoning with the past. Oslo, Maine is a heartbreaking yet finally hopeful story that barrels to its unexpected conclusion, where fragile families who want only the best must fail before they succeed.
What sparked the idea for your latest book?
I was a professional oboist for many years before I became an author and spent summers in Maine performing at a chamber music festival. It was there that I heard an improbable story about a moose. I never forgot that story and it eventually became an inciting incident in my novel.
Wow, that’s fascinating. Oboist to author–that’s a big shift! What do you love most about writing?
I enjoy creating worlds and people that are unknown to me. When I write from the place of not knowing my imagination feels limitless and it is often surprising what lands on the page.
If you were speaking to someone who hasn’t read your writing before, why should they want to read Oslo, Maine?
If you love characters that both fail and succeed, sometimes do harm but also good, with a plot that surprises every ninth page or so Oslo, Maine is for you.
How are you adjusting to marketing a book during a pandemic?
Publishing during the pandemic has been a challenge. But I’ve realized that I need to let go of any notion of control. The good news is that books are forever. They provide entertainment and solace not only during “normal” days but especially during these unprecedented times.
Where can readers find you?
Thank you, Marcia. Oslo, Maine is out TODAY!
A moose walks into a rural Maine town called Oslo. Pierre Roy, a brilliant twelve-year-old, loses his memory in an accident. Three families are changed for worse and better as they grapple with trauma, marriage, ambition, and their fraught relationship with the natural world.
Meet Claude Roy, Pierre’s blustery and proud fourth-generation Maine father who cannot, or will not, acknowledge the too real and frightening fact of his son’s injury. And his wife, Celine, a once-upon-a-time traditional housewife and mother who descends into pills as a way of coping. Enter Sandra and Jim Kimbrough, musicians and recent Maine transplants who scrape together a meager living as performers while shoring up the loose ends by attempting to live off the grid. Finally, the wealthy widow from away, Edna Sibley, whose dependent adult grandson is addicted to 1980’s Family Feud episodes. Their disparate backgrounds and views on life make for, at times, uneasy neighbors. But when Sandra begins to teach Pierre the violin, forces beyond their control converge. The boy discovers that through sound he can enter a world without pain from the past nor worry for the future. He becomes a pre-adolescent existentialist and invents an unconventional method to come to terms with his memory loss, all the while attempting to protect, and then forgive, those who’ve failed him.
Oslo, Maine is a character driven novel exploring class and economic disparity. It inspects the strengths and limitations of seven average yet extraordinary people as they reckon with their considerable collective failure around Pierre’s accident. Alliances unravel. Long held secrets are exposed. And throughout, the ever-present moose is the linchpin that drives this richly drawn story, filled with heartbreak and hope, to its unexpected conclusion.
Marcia Butler, a former professional oboist and interior designer, is the author of the memoir, The Skin Above My Knee, and debut novel Pickle’s Progress. The Creative Imperative, her documentary film exploring the essence of creativity, was premiered in New York City on June 9, 2019 and is now available on YouTube. With her second novel, Oslo, Maine, Marcia draws on indelible memories of performing for many years at a chamber music festival in central Maine. While there, she came to love the people, the diverse topography, and especially the majestic and endlessly fascinating moose who roam, at their perpetual peril, among the humans. After decades in The Big Apple, Marcia now calls the Land of Enchantment home.