D. Dauphinee catches the big one with his novel The River Home

Most of us who write want to write a novel, plan to write a novel, have tried to write a novel, or have written an unpublished novel. I recently launched my third attempt at writing a novel, fervently believing the mantra: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.

I am learning that it takes a great idea, a ton of effort, some real writing talent, and a lot of luck to write and publish a novel. I actually ran out of story at about 2000 words in my previous attempts, but this time, I’m already up to 6,000! Just 44,000 to go.

So let’s start by applauding Denis D Dauphinee’s perseverance in not only writing a very good novel, but in finding a publisher who believed in it.

The River Home - website photoThe River Home was published by North Country Press in Unity, Maine, and it’s a keeper. D’s other book, Stoneflies and Turtleheads, also published by North Country Press, is a work of nonfiction, all about fly fishing. And he carries the fly fishing theme through The River Home.

But it’s not all about fly fishing. There’s love and tragedy, hope and renewal, in a small rural Maine town, with plenty of references to actual places so that the story seems all so real. I laughed. I cried. I couldn’t wait to read the next chapter.

I even appreciated the fact that the print is large – very suitable for tired old eyes like mine.

My wife Linda and I were attracted to the book as soon as we saw the cover, a beautiful pony-tailed blond girl fly fishing on a stream. The girl looks exactly like our youngest daughter Hilary – who also likes to fly fish.

I’m not going to tell you anything about the plot, but I will say it is compelling and propels you through the book, right to the final page.

D has been a world traveler and adventurer, worked in a variety of professions from photography to medicine, and now lives in Bradley with his wife and two children.

He says this story “came to me in the half-sleep of a late night. Tossing and turning, my wife asked me what was wrong. I explained that I had just ‘experienced’ an entire story, from beginning to end. I hadn’t been dreaming, but I hadn’t been thinking either. She made me get up and write it down. Nothing of the sort has happened to me before or since.”

Ok, so now I am hoping my novel will come to me in my sleep!

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George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In the spring of 2016, Islandport Press will publish a Maine travel book by George and Linda, and Down East Books will publish a book about Maine sporting camps by George. In 2014 George won an award for the state's best sports blog, from the Maine Press Association.