What Happens in Vegas …

The strip, Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Camera gear? Check. Watched Vegas Vacation? Yep. Got buckets o’ pocket change? Oh yeah. Wahoo–let’s go!

We’re looking forward to the next couple of weeks as we hit the road and travel to Las Vegas to attend the Western Writers of America’s 2013 Convention. Before the convention we’ll be doing a wee bit of traveling, taking in the dry air and hot sun (a couple of things Maine has sorely missed during the past few weeks, just ask my basil plants!), and visiting some of our country’s beautiful national and state parks (can’t imagine there will be any photo ops out there….).

Many congratulations to my hubby, Matthew P. Mayo, who won the Spur Award for Best Short Western Novel for Tucker’s Reckoning. On the final night of the convention, Matthew will receive his Spur Award during the Spur Awards Dinner. I’m so proud of him! (And many congrats to our pal Larry Sweazy who won the Spur for Best Original Mass Market Paperback, The Coyote Tracker.)

See y’all soon!

Icons? Did someone say Icons?

Though it is a wee bit after their official release date, I am nonetheless busting to announce the publication of not one but TWO new books that my husband, writer Matthew P. Mayo, and I worked on together.

New Hampshire Icons: Fifty Classic Symbols of the Granite State and Vermont Icons: Fifty Classic Symbols of the Green Mountain State are companion volumes to our hot-selling book of last summer, Maine Icons: Fifty Classic Symbols of the Pine Tree State.

The two newest books round out our “Northern New England Trio” and we couldn’t be happier with the results. And judging from early response, readers feel the same way.

The books are hardcovers with full-color dust sleeves, and inside are packed with 112 full-color, glossy pages filled with hundreds of photos and loaded with Matt’s excellent essays that explore little-known facts (Did you know that New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington is home to the world’s worst weather? Or that Vermont was the first state in the nation to ban billboard advertising?), historical legends, and longtime secrets about the 50 icons from each state.

If you have a hankering to visit–if only just via the pages–three of the most beautiful states in the nation (perhaps we’re a wee bit biased), a great place to begin would be with your very own copies of Maine Icons, New Hampshire Icons, and Vermont Icons!

First interview …

for Maine Icons appeared this weekend in the Portland Press Herald online and Sunday’s print edition, the Maine Sunday Telegram. Here’s a short excerpt:

Author Q & A: You ought to be in pictures
What makes Maine Maine? A Northport couple tries to capture its essence in words and stunning images in the new book ‘Maine Icons.’

By Meredith Goad

If you had to pick 50 iconic images to represent what Maine is all about, what would you choose?

Would you stick to the more obvious candidates, like lobsters and lighthouses? Or would you go with something a little more understated – say, the Wyeth family?

That was the task photographer Jennifer Smith-Mayo and her husband, writer Matthew P. Mayo, faced when they started working on their new book, “Maine Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Pine Tree State” (Globe Pequot, $16.95).

Black flies and Moody’s Diner made the cut. So did the Fryeburg Fair and Baxter State Park. Fiddleheads, the white pine and “Uncle Henry’s Swap-and-Sell-It Guide” were all in the running, but had to be (painfully, according to the authors) slashed from the book.

The Mayos have lived in midcoast Maine for 20 years and are now settled in Northport. Jennifer Smith-Mayo’s photographs have appeared in National Geographic, Down East and The New York Times. Matthew Mayo is the author of novels and nonfiction books, including “Bootleggers, Lobstermen & Lumberjacks: Fifty of the Grittiest Moments in the History of Hardscrabble New England.”

The couple has had plenty of time over the years to explore Maine and get to know it well enough to be able to write this book, the first they have worked on together….

Click here to read the full piece.