Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Vermont builder Sam Clark publishes debut mystery novel

‘The Inland Sea’ releases Dec. 8

Rootstock Publishing, a Montpelier-based publisher and an imprint of Multicultural Media, Inc., announced the forthcoming publication of “The Inland Sea,” a debut mystery novel by builder, designer, and cabinetmaker Sam Clark of Plainfield.

“The Inland Sea” is set in a sequestered part of Lake Champlain known as the Inland Sea, and is a fictional story about people who have spent their lives there. It follows a detective on the case of the corpse of a man who had been missing for almost 20 years. Clark was inspired to write this book after a bicycle accident 12 years ago left him immobilized and unable to continue his carpentry work.

“I have always been interested in the history and people of New England…It’s what I studied in school, and read about to this day,” said Clark. “I have often attempted to write about this subject, and my own family’s relationship to it, but with little success. But on November 4, 2008, the day Barack Obama was elected, I was hit by a car while biking, not far from my home in Plainfield, Vermont. I couldn’t do any woodworking for a few months, but I could still type. I decided to approach this material again in the form of a mystery novel,” he said.

“During this period our family had a spot with a boat, an old house-trailer, and a dock in a lakeside campground called Montani’s, on the eastern side of South Hero, Vermont. This is the part of Lake Champlain  known as The Inland Sea. I love the place and also the name. It seemed natural to locate my story there,” said Clark.

“It might seem absurd to jump from writing building books to writing a novel, but to me, principles to live by, and principles to build by, aren’t that different. You could argue that constructing a detective story isn’t entirely different from constructing a house,” said Clark.

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