April 4, 2010

Book Q & A: 'Code' read

Winthrop writer Ben Thomas is out with an adventure novel about high schoolers trying to crack a World War II code.

By Tom Atwell tatwell@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Ben Thomas


AT THE ROYAL BEAN, 18 Yarmouth Crossing, Yarmouth, sponsored by Royal River Books, 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday


I ran a canoeing club for a long time. We did 26 trips, and I feel good that we got done without anyone getting hurt. I taught with David Cook, who wrote a book on Indian canoe routes of Maine called "Above the Gravel Bar."

He introduced me to Myron Smart in Milo, who made canoes, and he told me that during World War II there were three major German prisoner-of-war camps in Maine, and about how one time two of the prisoners escaped from one by Spencer Lake. Everyone in the area got their guns and went out to catch these guys. Two old guys sat by a bridge because they knew they would come that way, and they did, all bitten up.

So I put all of that stuff together -- two-man subs, the prisoner of war camps and escapees, the towns around Freeport, a lot of landmarks like L.L. Bean, the Big Indian, the 1900s amusement park that burned in 1910.

So I had all of this stuff running around in my head, and I figured what would happen if I had a code from those escapees and had some present-day kids find it, and then I add some bad guys and see what happens. 

Q: Do you have anything else in the works?

A: I have another book coming out, "Aristotle's Gold," which is a whole different kind of thing, without codes or anything. It involves sea urchin divers coming back with a gold pendant. I would say it is all done, but I want to read it one more time to adjust some things, maybe make the characters a little older.

And I have one planned called "Scorpion," in which I go back to codes. 

Tom Atwell can be contacted at 791-6362 or at:



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