Welcome to Oldham, CT, a small town rich in Colonial heritage while being utterly contemporary. Situated along the Connecticut River Valley, Oldham bursts with color every fall, as the leaves on its trees evolve into an unmatched palette of scarlet, orange, purple, yellow, and bronze. For more than three decades, the Gold family has been a central part of Oldham in the fall, its Sugar Maple Inn a destination for “leaf-peepers” from all over the country, and its annual Halloween party a stirring way to punctuate the town’s most active month.


But this year, more than just the leaves are changing. With the death of their parents, the Gold siblings, Maria, Maxwell, Deborah, Corrina, and Tyler, have decided to sell the Sugar Maple Inn, and this year’s Halloween party will be the last. As October begins, the Golds contend with the finality that faces them, and the implications it has for a family that has always been so close. For some, it means embracing new challenges and new love. For others, it means taking on unimagined roles. And for others, it means considering the inconceivable. Complicating it all is a series of “hauntings” that touch each of the Gold siblings, a series of benign interventions that will remain a mystery until October draws to a close.


I like to present myself with a new challenge with every book. With Leaves, I decided to present myself with two big ones: writing the first book in a series, and writing a novel with not one protagonist but five. The former required making sure that I had a bigger story in my head while at the same time getting a satisfying first story on the page (I assume you'll let me know whether or not it is satisfying). The latter required making each character the "star" of the show while still having them interact, and keeping them from stealing the spotlight from each other. The first few attempts to start this one were sketchy. The Story Plant had to delay publication twice because I didn't feel I was getting it right. Eventually, though, I loved writing this, and I can't wait to tell more stories about the Gold family.



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