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For Immediate Release
Contact: Michael Dutton
Christmasville – “The dickens of a tale!” says Kriss Kringle
Mr. Lionel knows.
Mr. Bachmann, the stationmaster, knows.
And Mary Jane is on her way to find out ...
Christmasville, written by Michael Dutton and published by Linden Park Publishers, is, literally, a perennial Christmas story – one that occurs each year, every year, on a 4 x 8 model train platform. The story reveals the experiences and discoveries of Mary Jane Higgins, who embarks on a series of perilous journeys, determined to resolve the enigma of Christmasville. Although it’s forbidden, she crosses train tracks, approaches the bottomless abyss, travels through a wilderness that operates “according to a different set of rules”.
“In a sense, Christmasville is a very real place,” reveals the author, “one which I construct every Thanksgiving, only to dismantle the first weekend in February. I’ve been doing it for twenty-five years – ever since my first daughter, Meg, was born.”
The novel simulates the reality of living in a fictional town, seasonally situated on a model train platform. It’s a town constantly covered in new fallen snow, perpetually decorated in yuletide trimmings. There’s a freight train that never stops and a passenger train, which – if anyone is so inclined – will take him or her to the neighboring towns of Easterville or St. Valentine’s. Or so they would think.
Each year, buildings and homes are rearranged according to a new “plan” of things – like pieces on a checkerboard. The calendar consists of only two pages: December and January. But for the citizens of Christmasville, no one gets any older. And the worst of ailments is poison ivy, color blindness and partial baldness.
The twist in the novel – arriving like a locomotive at an unfamiliar turn in the track – is driven by the unswerving determination of Mary Jane as she realizes that there’s more to Christmasville than just Christmasville, that there’s other seasons beyond the frigid embrace of winter. Aside from Mr. Lionel and Mr. Bachmann (and the reader, of course), she’s the only one who suspects that something is askew. As for the twist in the novel...
Christmasville is intended for an audience of young adult through adult. “I wanted to tell a story – as engaging for a sixteen-year-old as for a reader, sixty,” says Dutton.
Book reviewers agree:
“... in this age of Harry Potter and Chris Van Allsburg, the magical realism of the novel should prove very appealing to readers, both young and old.” (ForeWord Clarion Review)
“Christmasville could easily be the next holiday classic. From children to seniors, this book is for everyone who has ever wondered about other worlds and the power of Christmas magic.” (Steven Manchester, author of Pressed Pennies).
Michael Dutton lives in Newport, Rhode Island with his wife and daughters. He graduated summa cum laude from Richard Stockton College and attended graduate school at Penn State for comparative literature. He is currently writing Finding Christmasville (Madeleine’s Tale) and a volume of short stories, one of which – “The Notion of Zero” – appears in Hopewell Publications’ BEST NEW WRITING 2007.
A hard cover edition, Christmasville retails for $18.95. The book is available at a number of bookstores and retail shops throughout New England, through popular Internet merchants and directly from the publisher at www.lindenparkpublishers.com.
An abbreviated schedule of upcoming book signings is as follows:
Saturday, December 1st, 2:00 P.M. – Barnes and Noble, Middletown, RI
Sunday, December 2nd, 2:30 P.M. – Barrington Books, Barrington, RI
Saturday, December 22nd, 12:00 P.M. – Walden Books, Warwick Mall, RI