“Chalk Outline” Amber Ale author collaboration beer with Bone Up Brewing Company

Portrait by Albion Bicknell

Frank Eugene Converse, killed at age seventeen by his friend, Postmaster Edward Green, during the first bank robbery/murder in United States history was laid to rest in Woodlawn Cemetery. Buried in Malden, his grave hasn’t moved but it is now located in the City of Everett.

Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett, MA

For at the time of the events in my novel, Abel Bodied: Murder at the Malden Bank, in 1863, Everett did not exist.

Everett became a city in 1870. Like its neighbor to the east, Revere, it was also named in honor of a person – though one far more obscure. Edward Everett, like the true story my book is based upon has been mostly lost to history.

Everett served as president of Harvard, governor of Massachusetts, a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State. He was known as a great orator. Unlike Paul Revere’s midnight ride immortalized by Longfellow’s poem, Everett is best known for giving a very long speech after the battle of Gettysburg – a few months before the Converse murder.

After Everett finished his two-hour speech, President Lincoln delivered perhaps the most eloquent, meaningful speech in American history, his Gettysburg Address, in just a couple of minutes.

Bone-Up Brewing Company is located in what was once South Malden, so it is perfect that the release of the delicious “Chalk Outline” Hoppy Amber Ale, brewed in celebration of my novel, is now on tap at the brewery!

Two of the things I love to do the most are drinking great local craft beer and talking about my novel. Since my novel’s publication, I have combined the two by having many of my book events in local breweries and bars. The City of Malden has staged a series of sold-out Murder at the Malden Bank Mystery Pub Crawls with more planned for the summer of 2023!

After several years of late nights laying on the couch with my laptop, a craft beer on the coffee table by my right and our MinPin, Guinness, curled up next to me on my left – my wife, Jen, is very happy that that I have now discovered lots of other places to discuss my novel over beers!

Public speaking can be tough and in the past, admittedly, I have reached for liquid courage to help ease my nervousness as I did before this speech last June during the Converse Family Reunion where I spoke for a twenty minutes about my novel in the building erected in honor of Frank Converse in front of dozens of his blood relatives. That was a thrill – but also quite daunting.

It occurred to me during the many years of writing my novel that I would love to somehow have a local brewery brew a beer in connection to my book and the true crime on which it is based. I have come across many craft beers named after famous literature but, to my knowledge, “Chalk Outline” is the first beer brewed in collaboration with a local, Indie author.

My reading of the murder chapter in Abel Bodied, during the beer release event, though not as brief as Lincoln’s, like my speech at the library lasted about twenty minutes. It was followed by a lively Q&A about the book, my research and the writing process.

Thanks to all who attended! Shout-outs to my author friends, Mike Sullivan and Jason Rubin! You can click on their names for links to their work.

I would especially like to toast and thank Liz and Jared Kiraly and all of the Bone Up crew for truly making this writer’s dream come true with a terrific, tasty beverage that was well-received by all of those in attendance! Their beers are outstanding and they have a wide variety to choose from since they are constantly creating and brewing.

Chalk Outline is currently on draft in their taproom. My follow-up novel, long past the draft phase, is in a revision stage. However, it has taken longer than I hoped it would to ferment. My goal is to publish book two sometime this year and complete the story that has intrigued me since childhood as I studied each afternoon in The Malden Library below the portrait of Frank Converse.

Cheers, Michael!

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