NORWAY — When Bob Chapman was growing up in Mechanic Falls in the 1950s and ’60s, he spent a lot of time at the local library.

“That was the library I grew up with as a kid and where I first got the itch to write,” said Chapman, who will be at Books N’ Things on Main Street in Norway from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 18 to sign copies of his second novel, “Spider Lake.”

Chapman has been writing since the age of 13, when he penned his first short story. Writing is his pastime and his passion, he said.

“I have really grown up with science fiction and mysteries, but in high school I really got into the classics and still am a big fan of writers like (John) Steinbeck and (Ernest) Hemingway,” Chapman said. In later years, he read books by English author and philosopher Iris Murdock and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist Jane Smiley.

Chapman spent some 30 years working in child welfare as a child protective caseworker and in the juvenile correctional facility in South Portland.

It was that work, he said, that set the foundation for “Spider Lake.”

He described the book as a psychological narrative that examines the relationship between a father and son. The pair become lost in the remote wilderness of the northern Maine woods and face a beast that is the undoing of the father.

“The father finds himself having a breakdown in the woods,” Chapman said. 

His first novel, “A Certain Fall,” was set in Mechanic Falls, Poland and Oxford and based on actual facts. The book is currently being eyed by an independent filmmaker in Texas to adapt as a film. Although financing is holding up the project, site work has already begun in the area, said Chapman, who now lives in Brunswick.

Later in August, he will be at the Mechanic Falls Library for another book-signing, he said.

The book is available at bookstores such as Waldenbooks in Auburn and online at Barnes and Noble.

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