Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Atticus Finch, Meet Atticus M. Finch

Today, the USPS introduced its latest stamp from their Hollywood Legends Collection and it just so happens to be one Atticus Finch. Okay, actually it is Gregory Peck, but the image of the stamp is him portraying his most popular character on the silver screen, Atticus Finch, in To Kill a Mockingbird. The movie stands as one of the few in history that did justice to the original book.

We take this as a good omen with this the year our book, Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship comes out (September 20 from William Morrow). And it comes a day before our first public appearance pertaining to the book. This weekend we'll be down in Newburyport for the Newburyport Literary Festival to discuss our story.

With a field of 80 writers and poets, there will be many notable personalities on hand. We're thrilled to be included in that group and we'll be appearing at Jabberwocky Bookshop on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Just before us is Matthew Pearl, bestselling author of the Dante Club; and after us is Frank Schaeffer, another bestselling author.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

4,000-Footer Map for Following Atticus

This map was created by Jackson, New Hampshire artist Kathy Speight Kraynak specifically for our book. It was my hope that she could put down on paper something that could capture a bit of the magic of our White Mountains so that people who don't reside here, or simply don't know much about them, could have something to refer to while reading Following Atticus. From the first time I saw it I knew I made the right choice in working with Kathy for she surpassed my expectations with this beautiful drawing. It will be located in the endpapers of the book.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Today on the Boulder Loop Ledges

It started out chilly but mostly bright. Once we made our way into the woods we lost the breeze and the climb warmed us quickly. The sweeping views of the Sandwich Range to the south are always a joy to behold and we stayed up there for a couple of hours. Eventually clouds bringing the coming night's storm rolled up from the north and made for a dramatic sky.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Win a Copy of Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship

Following Atticus will be published by William Morrow, a HarperCollins imprint, on September 20th and the world will get a chance to meet Atticus M. Finch, a most remarkable little fellow.

Nick Trout, New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Where It Hurts, writes, “Animals come into our lives prepared to teach, if only those of us on the human side of the bond would be humble enough to learn. Tom Ryan has obviously been paying close attention as he generously shares the wisdom and humanity of his remarkable dog, taking us on a noble quest. Atticus M. Finch is the four-legged mentor all dog lovers will crave.”

I’m humbled by Dr. Trout’s kind words, but more humbled by Mr. Finch himself. Friends come in all shapes and sizes but little did I know the one that would mean the most to my life was a black and white miniature schnauzer who weighed only five pounds when I first held him. It is my honor to tell his story for it is an unusual one. As I’ve said, our book comes out in September, but you have a chance to grab hold of it early. We’re giving away three advance reader’s copies of Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship now! To have a chance at winning, go to our Following Atticus facebook page and ‘like’ us. When we reach 500 ‘likes’ we’ll draw three names from that list. You will then have a head start on the rest of the world.

Friday, April 15, 2011


It's not just the mountaintops or the rocky outcrops with outstanding views. It's not always the trails that traverse above treeline, nor the walks through majestic woods. Sometimes the magic comes in just sitting by a stream.

Yesterday morning Atticus and I took a lengthy road walk along the hilly streets of Jackson and returned home so I could write. Then later in the afternoon he roused me from my desk and I tucked our dinner into my backpack and we walked deep into the woods until we came to a stream too wild and deep to cross. It's there we sat and shared a meal together, listening to the song of the raging water. When we were done, Atticus got up and moved to the edge of a large rock and sat and watched much of the winter pass by below us.

We could have sat there for hours but darkness descended on us and I hadn't brought a headlamp. As I watched him, and looked around at our surroundings, and then walked out of the woods, I was so grateful for the decisions we made that led us to live in these mountains, to change our lives so that we could have moments like this on a daily basis.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Scenes from This Morning's Peaked Mountain Hike.

Blue skies, warm sun, cool morning air, and a snowy but firm trail made for a wonderful morning on one of our favorite local peaks - Peaked Mountain. It offers great views of the Moats, Chocurua, the Ossippees, Whiteface, Passaconaway, and many of the Presidential peak, especially Mount Washington. It was a perfect morning hike that gave us enough time to get back to watch the Red Sox at noon. (Now if only they'd win a game.)

Monday, April 04, 2011

Our Guest Post Over at

Philip Werner over at has gone on walkabout. For the next two weeks he's doing a section of the Appalachian Trail. While he's gone he's asked ten guest bloggers to hold down the fort for him. Today, we bat lead off with our guest post. It's about a recent hike up Middle Mountain, over in North Conway's Green Hills Preserve. You can read it here.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Snowy Stroll Along the Saco River this Morning

It's opening day for the Red Sox, but up here in the White Mountains we're being pelted with snow. Such is life in New England. Luckily the Sox are opening up in Texas and not in Boston today. As for Atticus and me, we had a nice snowy stroll along the Saco River this morning.