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September 05, 2008
Vol. 50 No. 1

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Bailey's book 'Graces' community

"The Grace that Keeps This World," a novel by Dr. Tom Bailey, professor of English and Creative Writing, has been chosen as the 2008 winning title by the "One Book, One Community: Our Region Reads" campaign.

According to a press release, "The Grace That Keeps This World" is based on a tragic hunting accident in upstate New York. Bailey said he gave a reading in Dauphin County where several people from the One Book campaign were in attendance. His book was one of several in the running to become the campaign's 2008 book choice.

Bailey said, "It's a nice honor and it's a great way to share that book with all of Central Pennsylvania."

On Aug. 27, Bailey appeared at a news conference and reception held at the Pequea Valley Public Library.

"The reception was just terrific," Bailey said. "They were selling books and the line for signing books was out the door." Bailey said the community is actively involved in the campaign, taking it beyond just the libraries and into the "stores and businesses all through Central Pennsylvania."

Bailey said he started writing "The Grace That Keeps This World" during his first year at Susquehanna in 1999. He said it was originally a short story, but after his wife read it and asked about the mother in the story, he realized he wasn't done with it.

"I started telling it again from all the different points of view in the story and so you have 13 first person narrators because I felt like if there is a death in a small community like that, it doesn't just affect the family," Bailey said. "It affects everybody so I was trying to get at that."

Junior AJ Janavel said he read the novel last year for class and that "it was a very powerful and moving novel. It is very easy to relate to the characters and become emotionally involved with them, which is something that happens often throughout the book."

"Also, the story line is easy to follow; it is not farfetched, which helped get the main points across opposed to putting all your efforts into trying to understand," he added.
Bailey said the film rights have been optioned off for the movie and currently Matthew Aldrich, a screenwriter in Hollywood, is working on the screenplay. Bailey said Aldrich is still working on it, but he is "hopeful that one day a movie will be made of it."

Currently Bailey is working on another book, tentatively called "The Cave of Souls."

Bailey said, "It's about two brothers who are both in love with the same woman and then one of them goes missing in the canyon."

Bailey said he started writing the book last August and hopes to have a draft done by Christmas break.

In the meantime, Bailey said he will be participating in all upcoming events for the One Book campaign. He said the traveling involved in discussing the book is exciting and a lot of fun.

Bailey said, "It's great to put the book in so many people's hands and have them be really genuinely excited about it."

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