On Sunday, November 6 at 1pm the Harlow Gallery presents Brunswick writer Paul Betit, who will talk about his new book Let Me Tell A Story. Let Me Tell A Story is quite a departure from the military crime fiction novels Betit has written in the past. A mix of short fiction and memoir, it is a collection of first-person stories that take place over a 60-year period. There will be time for a question and answer session afterward and light refreshments will be served. This event is open to the public with a suggested $3 donation to support programming at the gallery.
The book starts with a tale about a 12-year-old boy who learns some important life lessons during a family trip to Aroostook County. It ends with a piece about an elderly Brunswick couple learning some lessons of their own while coming to grips with old age. Half of the ten stories in the book take place in Maine. A lot of the stories were inspired by Betit’s experiences during the Vietnam War and its aftermath. “I like to call them woulda-coulda-shoulda stories,” he said. “All of them contain at least one grain of truth. More often that not it’s much more than just that.” During book talks promoting his earlier works Betit read early versions of the some of these pieces at events.
“It was a good change of pace and the stories were well received,” he said. Previously, Betit published Phu Bai, Kagnew Station and The Man In The Canal, crime novels set in South Vietnam, Ethiopia and Sweden, respectively, in the late 60s and early 70s. The series follows the adventures of U.S. Army CID investigator John Murphy.
An Augusta native, Betit has worked as a general assignment newspaper reporter or a sportswriter for more than 40 years, including stints at the Kennebec Journal (1774-85) in Augusta and the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram (1985-2013). In 1991 and 1998, he received awards from the Maine Press Association for sports feature writing. He still covers high school, college and pro sports for the Press Herald and Telegram on a freelance basis.
During his talk, Betit will share back stories, read from his current writing and discuss the publishing game. He always leaves plenty of time for Q&A. Inscribed copies of all four of Betit’s books will be available at discounted prices before and after his talk.