Acclaimed writer Cathie Pelletier will offer her first reading in southern Aroostook County with an appearance on Monday, June 1 at The Vault restaurant in Houlton. The event will include a reception and meet-the-author time starting at 6 p.m. Hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar will be available. The reading will start at 7 p.m. Pelletier will offer a short reading and then participate in a question and answer session. She will also sign books after the session.
"I want this to be a very informal couple of hours, more like a visit than an actual reading," Pelletier said. "It's my chance to meet new people and learn a bit of the history of Houlton."Pelletier, a native of Allagash, is an award-winning writer who has written nine novels and had two of them turned into movies. She wrote her first novel, The Funeral Makers, in 1986. That novel was followed by Once Upon a Time on the Banks, The Weight of Winter, The Bubble Reputation, A Marriage Made at Woodstock, and Beaming Sonny Home.
Pelletier made international literary news in 1998 when Doubleday paid her a $1 million advance for her novel Candles on Bay Street, written under her pen name K.C. McKinnon. "Candles" eventually became a Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions film starring Alicia Silverstone. Her other McKinnon novel, Dancing at the Harvest Moon, has been translated into 18 languages and, in 2002, became a CBS movie starring Jacqueline Bisset and Valerie Harper. Her latest novel, Running the Bulls, won the 2006 Paterson Prize for Fiction.
Coming full circle, Pelletier adapted her first novel into a screenplay for director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity; Mr. and Mrs. Smith). She also is working with actor Donald Sutherland, who has optioned her original screenplay, The Luna Christmas, with hopes to begin filming this year.
"My father's sister lived in Houlton many years ago, when I was very young. We visited her once, in the early 1960s, so I have been to Houlton. But I don't remember that visit," Pelletier said. "I'm excited to have this opportunity to really see and enjoy Houlton. A few weeks ago, a young man from Houlton, working for a delivery company, delivered boxes of my books to me here in Allagash. He wanted to see our town, so my husband and father drove him through Allagash, with my father telling him a bit of local history. That's when I knew it was time for me to visit and learn about Houlton, especially since I've heard so many wonderful things. I'm really looking forward to this visit."
For more information about Cathie Pelletier, visit her website at www.kcmckinnon.com. For more information about her reading, presented by the University of Maine at Presque Isle, please call 768-9452.