Laura Freudig at her writing desk. Freudig’s first children’s book, “Halfway Wild,” was published recently. PHOTO COURTESY OF LAURA FREUDIG

Author is “Halfway Wild”



TREMONT — Laura Freudig always has had a big imagination.

“When I was a kid, I wrote a fantasy novel that I worked on for years and years,” the author said recently from her home in Bernard.

While her handwritten novel never got published, the author is celebrating the recent publication of her first children’s book, which is a fantasy of its own.

halfway-wild“Halfway Wild,” published by Islandport Press in Portland, debuted in October, but it’s a project that has been in the works for nearly a decade.

“I wrote it about 10 years ago and then put it in a drawer until about a year and a half ago,” she said.

Islandport took a liking to the book, and now it is on shelves at libraries, bookstores and gift shops across the state.

In “Halfway Wild,” Freudig takes the reader through a day in the life of a family who are “never the same from one day to the next.”

When the morning begins, they are a family of buzzing bees. When rain has left puddles outside, they “are a family of ducks.”

Freudig said she came up with the metaphor one day and then kept thinking up new ones, and finally there were enough to form a book.

She doesn’t recall which metaphor she came up with first, but she did take some of aspects of the book from her childhood, including the white house the family lives in.

“I was thinking of the old, white house I lived in growing up on Dirigo Road in Southwest Harbor,” she said.

The book also highlights creatures specific to Maine, including puffins, moose and seals.

“Halfway Wild” was a hit before it was even published – according to the world’s most important critics, Freudig’s children.

“I read it to them before there were illustrations,” said Freudig. “They are easy critics.”

Freudig and her husband, Tony, have six children: Ben, 15, Emma, 13, Daniel, 11, Kate, 7, James, 5, and Lily, a chubby-cheeked 3-month-old.

With her hands full at all times, the author doesn’t have much extra time to sit down and write.

“I mostly write in my head, and when I have some time, I sit down and write,” said Freudig.

Her writing is usually done in the winter from the desk in her bedroom, which overlooks the family’s sprawling homestead.

“Sometimes it can feel like a waste of time just sitting at the computer and thinking,” she said.

But it’s all worth it once she has finished a story or book.

Freudig is now working on a children’s short story and editing an adult story for a literary magazine.

The author said books always have been a big part of her life.

“I really lived in books when I was a kid,” she said.

That trait lives on in her children, who all love books.

“We have books in every room and at the dinner table, mostly everyone is reading a book,” said Freudig.

Freudig admires the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien and Lloyd Alexander.

Her favorite classics are “Bleak House,” “Anna Karenina” and “Middlemarch.”

“These books are a world unto themselves, and that’s the kind of book I’d like to create,” she said.

“Halfway Wild” can be found at the Southwest Harbor Public Library, Under the Dogwood Tree in Southwest Harbor, all Sherman’s bookstores, BookStacks in Bucksport, Union River Book & Toy in Ellsworth and online at www.islandportpress.com.

Freudig is scheduled to hold a book signing at Union River Book & Toy on Friday, Nov. 25, starting at 11 a.m.

Taylor Bigler Mace

Taylor Bigler Mace

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Taylor covers sports and maritimes for the Islander. As a native of Texas, she is an unapologetic Dallas Cowboys fan. [email protected]
Taylor Bigler Mace

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