A McAdam Station Christmas in the news

November 5, 2014: With the launch of the new Abigail Massey Christmas novel,
A McAdam Station Christmas, just days away, the Abigail project sent out the first of its press releases to the media in New Brunswick last week, both to promote interest in the new book and to create publicity for our pre-launch event, Launch into the Holidays, in cooperation with Artful Persuasion and NB Liquor.

The response to our press release was immediate. The
Woodstock Bugle-Observer ran the release, along with a photograph provided to go with it, in its mid-week edition (see top photo). Meanwhile, Lori Gallagher from the Fredericton Daily Gleaner carried out an interview with author Mark Walma and then wrote a wonderful story that ran on the front page of the paper's Live It section on Friday (see bottom photo).

Thanks to such great publicity, the pre-lauch event took place on Saturday, November 1 and proved a roaring success, with hundreds of people in attendance and strong book sales.

Christmas novel arrives, Coffee table book on the way

October 25: The Abigail project is pleased to report that the Christmas novel,
A McAdam Station Christmas, has now arrived from the printer in Ontario and it's absolutely gorgeous. And, just as exciting, the new coffee table book, The McAdam Railway Station and Hotel: Fact, Fiction & Photographs is also coming together. We hope to have the first, limited-edition printing back from the printer before the end of November, just in time for Christmas.

Awesome Sunday with Railway Pie, skits and lots of Abigail talk

August 24: The McAdam Railway Station and Hotel had any number of special guests for Railway Pie Sunday on August 24 but the most special of all were Graydon and Elizabeth Nicholas, the Lieutenant Governor of the Province of New Brunswick and his partner. The Queen's representative and his wife enjoyed the historical skits put on by the Restoration Commission, a chat with Abigail author Mark Walma and even a slice or two of world famous Railway Pie. They even picked up copies of all three of the Abigail story books and placed an advance order for four of the Christmas novella,
A McAdam Station Christmas, due out in November.

Lots of Excitement at First Railway Pie Event

July 28: The first event to combine a visit buy author Mark Walma to the McAdam Railway Station and Hotel in conjunction with Railway Pie Sundays proved an unqualified success on Sunday. While the crowds came to savour the delicious home-made pie, a great many of them stayed to chat with Mark and catch up on the Abigail project. The crowd seemed divided almost exactly in half between people who have already read the first three Abigail volumes and wanted to know about the upcoming Christmas novella and people who were new to the project and wanted to purchase one or more of the story books. Mark will be back at the Station on Sunday, August 24 and is busy planning the launch of
A McAdam Station Christmas, scheduled for November.

Canada Day a rousing success at McAdam

July 8: People came from all over North America to celebrate Canada Day in the Village of McAdam last week and, as usual, the McAdam Railway Station and Hotel was the focal point of the festivities. Abigail author Mark Walma attended the event and enjoyed a wonderful warm day meeting readers and talking about the Station and its history.

Welcome Neighbours

December 12: The McAdam Railway Station was front and centre in a lovely article published on December 12 in the
Riverside Neighbours newspaper distributed across the Fredericton region and beyond. The article focused on that amazing day of celebration in November that included the special Railway Pie lunch, the introduction of the Weatherfax Map and, of course, the launch of Abigail, Volume 3.

And you will probably recognise that photograph that accompanied the article. It was taken by Patti Simmons, a key contributor to the Abigail project, and has already been featured on this website: a great shot of author Mark Walma and illustrator Lynn Walma signing books at the launch event. Thank you to the people at
Riverside Neighbours for this awesome coverage.

Launch Event a Brilliant Success

November 17: Thanks to mentions in the
Saint John Telegraph Journal, the St. Croix Bugle and the Fredericton Daily Gleaner, as well as on CBC Radio, the launch event for Abigail Massey at McAdam Station, Volume 3, held today at the McAdam Railway Station, was a massive success.

The day began with a special Railway Pie lunch in the Station's Lunch Counter, followed by the unveiling of the Station's latest historical acquisition: Canada's first weatherfax map from 1953. Then came the launch event for the latest collection of Abigail Massey stories and a star-studded event it was. Not only were author Mark Walma and illustrator Lynn Walma on hand for the event, so were McAdam mayor Frank Carroll, local MLA Carl Urquhart and several representatives of the McAdam Historical Restoration Commission.

A huge crowd turned out, putting some strain on the Formal Dining Room's ability to house them all. Among the event's highlights were a comic dramatic portrayal of "Canada's Sweetheart", one of the stories from Volume 1, and a dramatic reading from "The Flash of the Gun", from Volume 3, by Abigail herself, Andrea Tompkins. With more than 120 copies sold in less than four hours, Abigail Massey Volume 3 is off to a roaring start.

Author introduced to NB Legislature a second time

November 14: In anticipation of Sunday's launch of Abigail Volume 3, author Mark Walma was welcomed to the New Brunswick Legislature for a second time today, once again at the invitation of MLA Carl Urquhart. Carl invited all members of the assembly to attend the launch and the lunch that will precede it at the McAdam Station and received, on behalf of the Legislative Library, a copy of Volume 3.

See the video here:

Terry Seguin Welcomes Mark Walma to CBC Radio

November 12: Abigail author Mark Walma made a return visit to CBC Radio's Information Morning in Fredericton today, chatting with amiable host Terry Seguin about the Volume 3 launch and the Abigail stories in general. Click here to go to the CBC website to hear the entire interview. It would seem that some or all of the interview also aired on other CBC outlets in New Brunswick.

The interview first aired between 6:15 and 6:25 in the morning and excerpts were re-aired later in the show and as part of "Maritime Noon", a CBC show that is broadcast all over the Maritime provinces. We're very grateful to CBC, Shaun Waters, Angela Chang, Terry Seguin and everyone else involved in the show for their kind welcome and wonderful support.

Woodstock Dooryard Arts Festival a Success

August 11: Mark Walma, author of the Abigail stories, made two appearances at the Dooryard Arts Festival in picturesque Woodstock, New Brunswick this past weekend. First, Mark made a presentation and did a reading for a small but interested group on Friday afternoon. This led to some interesting conversation on topics related to writing and publishing, including a chat about how writers choose names for their characters.

On Saturday, Mark returned to Woodstock to take part in the Dooryard's open market, which finds vendors' stalls lining Queen Street. A sunny but windy day made for interesting times for all vendors but Mark enjoyed meeting dozens of people who came by to say hello. The talk ranged from writing stories to local politics to the importance of the McAdam Railway Station and Hotel to New Brunswick and Canadian history.

Abigail author introduced in NB Legislature

June 12: York MLA Carl Urquhart, the representative for the Village of McAdam and area , formally introduced Abigail author Mark Walma to New Brunswick Legislature last week. MR. Urquhart thanks Mark and illustrator Lynn Walma for their contributions to the restoration effort and noted that Mark was donating copies of A
bigail Massey at McAdam Station, Volume 1 and Volume 2, to the Legislative Library. See the video here:

MLA, MP welcome Mark Walma to their annual tea

May 25: New Brunswick MLA Carl Urquhart and Federal MP John Williamson welcomed Abigail Massey author Mark Walma to their annual tea today at the McAdam Railway Station. Approximately 80 people turned out on a rainy, cold day to greet their local representatives and enjoy some light refreshments. Mark was introduced to the group by Village Mayor Frank Carroll and thanked for his support of the Station by Mr. Urquhart and Mr. Williamson.

See us on Rogers Cable in NB

May 18: Rogers Cable has completed a documentary television show on the launch of
Abigail Massey at McAdam Station, Volume 2, the Station itself and the relationship between our books and the restoration. This show, entitled "Back at Home McAdam", will begin to run on the community program channel of Rogers Cable at noon this coming Monday, May 20 and again at 8 p.m. We have no idea what's in this new program and are excited to get the chance to see it. Tune in!

A day at the Market

May 11: On a cool, damp Saturday, Mark Walma met the people of Fredericton at the Boyce Farmers Market for a book signing and a chat about New Brunswick history. It was a busy, enjoyable day with plenty of stories exchanged and lots of books sold.

Author, President enjoy visit to McAdam Public School

May 8: Author Mark Walma and Historical Restoration Commission President Gail Swan enjoyed a lively, fun visit to the McAdam Public School to talk to the Grade 4 and 5 classes about history, their own stories and
Abigail Massey at McAdam Station. The School has copies of the Abigail books in its libraries and several classes are reading the stories as part of their classroom work. The children certainly had a lot of great ideas for stories of their own as well.

Book signing in Saint John

May 6: So perhaps Monday afternoon from 1 to 3 is not the optimal time to hold a book signing. Even though the turnout for the event wasn't overwhelming, author Mark and Illustrator Lynn had a wonderful time anyway at Simply Local Eh, the artists' cooperative on Water Street in Saint John that is offering our books for sale. It's a beautiful store and we're delighted to be represented in the Port City.

Volume 2 book launch a massive hit

May 5: Call it a massive success.

Launch event
More than 100 people came out to the McAdam Station and Hotel Sunday afternoon to attend a book launch for
Abigail Massey at McAdam Station, Volume 2, a collection of short stories for children written and illustrated specifically to support the restoration of this historical treasure in Southwest New Brunswick.

But, as McAdam Mayor Frank Carroll told the gathered crowd at the event: “This isn’t just a book launch: it’s a celebration of this Station and everyone who is working to restore it.”

McAdam Historical Restoration Commission President Gail Swan also spoke at the event, describing for guests the recent renovation projects and welcoming author Mark Walma and illustrator Lynn Walma to the Station.

“We’re grateful to Mark and Lynn for creating these books and donating the money raised to us for our restoration efforts,” she said.

Mayor Carroll echoed those sentiments. “We appreciate Mark and Lynn and everything they are doing with regard to the Abigail books to help us out,” he said. “These books are going to help put McAdam on the map and make this Village even greater.”

“I don’t think anyone knew what we’re getting into when we started this project,” Mark Walma said. “But it’s been a fantastic experience. It’s been a whirlwind.”

The first volume of Abigail’s stories was published last December and has since sold more than 800 copies. It was well-received by both the media and the reading public and it helped to raise not just money but awareness for the restoration of the historically and architecturally significant Railway Station.

The launch featured not just the author, the illustrator and dignitaries from McAdam but also a surprise guest: Abigail Massey herself.

“We were very excited to have Andrea Tompkins, a young woman from McAdam, step into the role of our character Abigail Massey for this big event,” Mark Walma said.

Tompkins greeted guests as the character, Abigail, read an excerpt from one of the stories in the new collection and even sat down to autograph books for her fans.

It was not the first time Tompkins has donned the long black skirt and white blouse of the Walmas’ 1940s heroine. “Abigail” was on hand for recent performances of the play “Vanceboro” at the McAdam Station, promoting the book-launch event to theatre-goers.

“It’s a great feeling as an author to see one of your own characters come to life like this,” Walma said, “and Andrea suits the role perfectly.”


Fredericton Daily Gleaner features Abigail launch article

Fredericton's newspaper, the
Daily Gleaner, featured an excellent article on the launch of Abigail Massey at McAdam Station, Volume 2 and the entire McAdam Railway Station restoration project on page D6 of today's edition (April 25, 2013). Here's the text of that article:

Book launch will help out McAdam train station, hotel

Restoration | Abigail Massey novel promotes awareness of historic rail station, restoration efforts
For The Daily Gleaner
Abigail Massey is the most popular girl in New Brunswick, and she's helping to restore the province's historic McAdam Railway Station and Hotel.
Volume 2 of the
Abigail Massey at McAdam Station stories will be released on Sunday, May 5, at 2 p.m. at the McAdam Railway Station, once again putting Abigail front and centre in the effort to raise funds and promote awareness of the restoration effort.
Since its launch in December of last year,
Abigail Massey at McAdam Station, Volume 1, has sold 800 copies, far exceeding even the wildest hopes of author Mark Walma and the McAdam Historical Restoration Commission.
'We sold our initial print run of 500 copies of Volume 1 in the first week after launch,' Walma said. 'It was an unbelievable response from the people of New Brunswick.' More than 1,000 people from around the world and from 75 different communities in Canada have visited Abigail's website, www.abigailmassey.ca, and her Facebook site has become a busy place.
'My fictional character has more Twitter followers than I do,' Walma said, laughing.
'I think the success of our first volume is a testament to how much pride the people of this province have in their communities, their history.' He said the Abigail Massey books are designed to promote awareness of the McAdam Station and Hotel and its history, and to help raise money to support its restoration project.
'We've got a committed group of volunteers who are working hard to restore this wonderful station,' said Gail Swan, president of the restoration commission. 'As a credit to their hard work, we recently won a grant of almost $100,000 from the federal government to support planned restoration work on the station's upper floors.' She said Abigail Massey is a creative part of that larger effort.
'We're delighted with the success of Volume 1, both in raising money for the station and in raising the profile of all of our work.' The public is invited to attend the launch for
Abigail Massey at McAdam Station , Volume 2, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 5, at the McAdam Railway Station. There's no charge for admission, and refreshments will be provided.
The event is a chance to meet the author, the book's illustrator (Walma's sister Lynn) and the members of the McAdam Historical Restoration Commission. Copies of Volume 2 will be available for purchase at the launch, with the chance to get the books signed by both the author and the illustrator.
Proceeds from the sale of the books go directly into the Restoration Fund.
Built in 1900, the McAdam Railway Station is a national and provincial Historic site and a designated Heritage Railway Station. Located on the New Brunswick-Maine border the former Canadian Pacific Railway Station was part of the main CPR line into Atlantic Canada.
The station is operated and managed by the McAdam Historical Restoration Commission. The museum offers tours, catered meals and conference facilities.
For more information, visit www. abigailmassey.ca or www.mcadamstation.ca.

Abigail Volume 1 tops the list of Blurb.ca Best Sellers

Volume 1 first on Blurb best seller list With almost 750 copies now sold across New Brunswick and a number more sold directly from the blurb.ca website, Abigail Massey at McAdam Station, Volume 1, now tops the list of the best selling self-published books at Blurb. We've just received 250 more print copies so expect sales to continue to rise in anticipation of the launch of Volume 2 on May 5.

Meanwhile, the Abigail project team is busy adding to its network of businesses offering the Abigail Massey books for sale around NB. We hope to have announcements of new outlets in Woodstock, St. Stephen and Saint John soon. We are also looking to find partners in Moncton and St. Andrew in the near future.

Abigail Volume 2 launch set for Sunday, May 5 at 2 p.m.

The countdown has begun. The launch event for
Abigail Massey at McAdam Station, Volume 2, has been set for Sunday, May 5 at 2 p.m. This special event will take place at the McAdam Railway Station and everyone is welcome. It's free! Meet author Mark Walma, illustrator Lynn Walma and the whole team responsible for making the Abigail project such a success, including members of the McAdam Historical Restoration Commission. So mark your calendars and make it a point to attend and see this wonderful station at its spring-time best!

Tourism New Brunswick, GoodReads feature Abigail Volume 1

The Abigail Massey at McAdam Station project got a huge boost recently when Tourism New Brunswick added a photo album to its Facebook page specifically about the Station, the book and the author. This photo album is already creating more awareness and excitement about the project.

In another exciting development, the book has been added to the GoodReads website. This gives us all a chance to review the book online and recommend it to others! Check out the Abigail page on GoodReads here. Tell the world what you think of
Abigail Massey at McAdam Station, Volume 1!

Copies Available in Fredericton, McAdam, Harvey Station and Online

There are still copies of
Abigail Massey at McAdam Station, Volume 1, available for purchase at locations in Fredericton, McAdam, and Harvey Station, New Brunswick. Although stocks from the second printing are currently dwindling, there are still copies available at Artful Persuasion and Covey's Basics in Fredericton, Smith's Store in Harvey and at the Village Office in McAdam.

If you're located out of Province (or a long drive away), you can also order the story book from our online printer, Blurb.ca: Click here to go directly to the Blurb website to place your order. Note, you will have to pay taxes and shipping on top of the $9.95 cover price but net proceeds still go to the McAdam Historical Restoration Fund.

Riverside Neighbours features Abigail story

Margaret Laking, a freelance reporter working for the
Riverside Neighbours newspaper (associated with the Daily Gleaner, the St. Croix Bugle and others), attended the launch event on December 2 and also made an appearance at the book signing in McAdam last weekend. The result: a wonderful article about the Abigail Massey at McAdam Station books in this week's edition of the Riverside Neighbours newspaper. The article included interviews with Mark Walma and Gail Swan, descriptions of the project and the stories themselves, and nice colour photograph of Mark and Gail discussing the first volume.

Astral Radio spreads the word about Abigail's success

Author Mark Walma arrived at the Boyce Christmas Market this morning to find several of the other vendors talking about the fact that the Astral Media family of radio stations in New Brunswick had featured a story about the Abigail Massey project on their morning news reports.

The reports included information about the sale of the 500th copy of
Abigail Massey at McAdam Station, Volume 1, this weekend and the fact that Walma would be at the Market to sign books today. This excellent coverage helped boost sales of the book at today's event as many radio listeners sought out the sales table to purchase their copy.

Fox FM in Fredericton also included a story on the project on its website.

Abigail Massey is a hit! 500th Book Sold!

Abigail Massey at McAdam Station, Volume 1, is a runaway hit. The final copy of the original 500-book print run was purchased by a happy reader on Saturday, December 15. Fittingly, this milestone purchase took place the McAdam Railway Station itself. On a cold, blustery day in Southwest New Brunswick, dozens of people came out to chat with author Mark Walma and buy their copies.

Great Day at the Sunday Christmas Market in Fredericton

Mark Walma staffed a stall at the Special Christmas Market in Fredericton today, enjoying the chance to meet all kinds of interesting people with connections to the McAdam Railway Station. Interesting chats and 25 books sold.

We're rapidly closing in on 500! Books are still available in Fredericton at Artful Persuasion on York Street.

Fab feature on Mark Walma in Saturday's Telegraph Journal

The
Saint John Telegraph Journal newspaper dedicated two-thirds of a page in its Salon Section to an interview with Mark Walma this Saturday. The piece included a large picture of Mark and his answers to a series of questions. It also had a special box full of data about our Abigail project itself.

Big time action at the Boyce Farmers' Market in Fredericton

Author Mark Walma attended the Boyce Farmers' Market in Fredericton's South Side today. He had an amazing time, meeting people, hearing their stories of McAdam and the Railway Station and connecting the dots between families and friends who have some tie to the Village.

The weather held out and sales of
Abigail Massey at McAdam Station were brisk. In the end, 91 copies of the book were sold to happy customers.

Sales have been so good, in fact, that the Abigail team has placed an order with the printer for an additional 250 copies of the book. We expect them to arrive soon! In the meantime, there are still a limited supply of copies available at tomorrow's Special Christmas Market at the Boyce Building and at the artists' cooperative store, Artful Persuasion, located at 97 York Street in Fredericton, between Queen and King Streets.

Gail Swan wows'em with CBC's Terry Seguin

Following his interview with author Mark Walma on Wednesday, CBC's Information Morning host Terry Seguin and the IM team decided they needed to get an update on the McAdam Railway Station restoration effort and invited Gail Swan, President of the McAdam Historical Restoration Commission, onto the show. Gail appeared this past Friday morning and gave NBers an excellent update on the ongoing effort to raise funds and restore the station. Listen here.

Great Interview on CBC's Information Morning

Host Terry Seguin of CBC's Information Morning proved himself to be both knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the McAdam Railway Station as he interviewed Abigail author Mark Walma on the show Wednesday. And, he had some great ideas about how the Abigail stories could continue to serve to raise the profile of the Station, through podcasts and other online activities. In a fun, 13-minute chat, Mark and Terry discussed the origins of the project and the characters in the stories, the impact of stories like these on young people and their families and many other topics. Listen to the full interview here. And you can be sure we'll be following up on Terry's great suggestions.

Gleaner gives Abigail the "Thumbs Up"

The Fredericton
Daily Gleaner newspaper gave the Abigail Massey project a big "Thumbs Up" in its Tuesday edition (December 4). Thanks FDG!

Author to appear on CBC's Information Morning with Terry Seguin

Mark Walma, the author of the Abigail Massey stories, is scheduled to be a guest on CBC's popular morning show from Fredericton, Information Morning with host Terry Seguin between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 5. Tune in on your radio (99.5 FM) or on CBC TV to listen and watch. Podcasts should be available after the show airs.

Media takes an interest

The project launch for Abigail Massey attracted some great media attention. Not only did CTV News do a feature, the
Fredericton Daily Gleaner ran the following excellent article on page three of its Monday edition, not so much about the launch but about the project itself.

Author pens books to raise money for train station – December 3, 2012 –
Daily Gleaner
History | McAdam trying to raise $10 million so it can finish restoration By TARA CHISLETT

An Ontario author whose been living in Fredericton for the last several years is hoping his latest fictional work will help the Village of McAdam toward its goal of raising more than $10 million to complete a restoration project at the McAdam Train Station.

The first volume of stories in Mark Walma's three-part
Abigail Massey at McAdam Station series launched in the village over the weekend.

The books feature 16-year-old Abigail Massey, her cousin Martha and their friends, Alice and Jenny, who work as live-in staff members at the station.

The first volume, which was released Sunday afternoon, features four tales.

In Passing the Test, Abigail and Martha face the ultimate challenge of impressing the stern hotel manager to earn positions at the McAdam Railway Station and Hotel. The second story, In Trouble, tells the story of a stormy night where the roads are slick and Abigail, Martha and their friends are miles away from McAdam Junction, scrambling to make it back in time to save their jobs .

Behind Bars tells the story of the night Abigail and Martha find themselves trapped in the station's jail cell as night falls. In Canada's Sweetheart, the girls try to help Abigail meet her hero, figure skating legend Barbara Ann Scott, who is visiting in McAdam Junction.

The stories include illustrations by Walma's sister, Lynn. The first volume will sell for $9.95 After deducting printing costs, proceeds from the sale of the books will go directly to the McAdam Station Restoration Fund.

The second volume of stories is due to come out in spring 2013 with the third to follow in fall 2013. For more information about the series, visit www.abigailmassey.ca.

Built in 1900, the McAdam Railway Station is a national and provincial historic site and a designated heritage railway station. The station is operated and managed by the McAdam Historical Restoration Commission and now operates as a museum, offering tours, catered meals and conference facilities. The station also functions as a visitor information centre.

For more information about the station and upcoming projects as part of the restoration work, visit www.mcadamstation.ca.
Project Launch a Success!

Author Mark Walma speaks The Project Launch for the
Abigail Massey at McAdam Station book series took place on Sunday, December 2 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the McAdam Railway Station. We had a great turn out for the event and got some great media coverage.

Check out this fantastic report on the project and the launch event from CTV News.

Gail Swan, the President of the McAdam Historical Restoration Commissioner hosted the event and introduced Village Mayor Frank Carroll and author Mark Walma, who both spoke to the gathered group. McAdam's own Mary O'Keefe-Robak provided a dramatic reading of an extended passage from "Behind Bars", on the stories in Volume 1.

McAdam Mayor Frank Carroll, Mark Walma and Gail Swan speak at the launch With more than 40 people in attendance, the event was a huge success. Mayor Carroll kindly took a number of visitors from out of town on a guided tour of the Station, which served as a wonderful cap to a great day. We're looking forward to seeing coverage of the launch in the Fredericton
Daily Gleaner and related newspapers as well. Thanks to all who contributed to make this day a success!