The Farming Life is filled with images and stories that beg to be shared in words. At least that’s how it has seemed to me since I started writing seriously in 1993. I write in the winter (between seed ordering, growers’ workshops, farm trade meetings), and farm in the spring/summer/fall (between collecting story notes, revising, jotting down the odd poem or two). I sometimes write about subjects other than farming, but it’s the physical work of farming that keeps my writing focused and honest.
I harbor the fantasy that if everyone knows the value of close connection to land, to food, they will want to preserve it!
Children, I believe, are the chief fans and beneficiaries of the farming life; they feature prominently in my writing. I also try to encourage the writing of young people by sponsoring the annual “Farming in Monkton” Writing Contest at our local elementary school and by teaching at the annual New England Young Writers’ Conference at Bread Loaf in Middlebury, VT and at the Champlain College Young Writers Conference in Burlington.
I'm happy to visit schools, libraries, and bookstores to read from my work and to help others discover the joys of writing. I'll come in person or on Skype.
“Broaching sexual awakening and mother-daughter tensions at once, the finely written According to Kit will appeal as much to adults as to their teenage daughters.” —Amy Lilly, Vermont Woman
“It is an exquisite, thoughtful coming-of-age tale with an intense Vermont atmosphere. In sum, I loved it. I feel changed by it.” —Ann Micou, author of Fiction Set in Vermont“
“Doyle has chosen every word carefully, from her descriptions of the frozen Vermont winter, the daily details of farm life, the physicality of dance, the raw emotions of adolescence, and the betrayal of adults. Her characters are complicated and authentic, if not universally likeable; the grownups in particular are often puzzling. Kit’s obsession with ballet and her compulsion to dance at any price will ring true for all teens equally focused on their own talents.” —Booklist
“Doyle has written a sparsely eloquent, deeply moving family story that is enriched by its wonderfully realized rural setting.” —Booklist, starred review
“Like the central image of her novel, Doyle’s debut is quietly electrifying. ... Doyle’s prose gracefully metes out the rhythm of farm life, capturing the silence and beauty as well as the unrest lurking beneath the surface. …Readers may well close this mesmerizing gem of a novel believing, like Ian, that the Vermont landscape itself has the power to heal.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Powerful writing, in a gentle, low-key style, sets this apart from the standard teen angst offering; its climax will leave readers breathless … it is sure to strike a deep chord. Doyle is an exciting new voice and definitely someone to watch.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
A captivating exploration of how a family gets a farm ready for the snow of winter, Sleep Tight Farm lyrically connects each growing season to the preparations at the very end of the farm year. This beautiful and informative book paints a fascinating picture of what winter means to the farm year and to the family that shares its seasons, from spring's new growth, summer's heat, and fall's bounty to winter's well-earned rest. All year long the farm has worked to shelter us, feed us, keep us warm, and now it's time to sleep.
Winner American Farm Bureau Foundation 2017 Book of the Year Award.