Cliff Walking CoverUPCOMING 2015 EVENTS:

Saturday, Nov 7th Rick Norcross and I will be at the South Burlington, Vermont Library from 2-3pm putting on "Stories and Songs," which will feature Rick performing some of his terrific folk songs and my discussing his rather amazing life chronicled in my book, Riding My Guitar-The Rick Norcross Story.  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, Sept 13th 7pm, live on The Cold River Radio Show at the Theater in the Wood in Intervale, NH., discussing my novel, Cliff Walking. This is a terrific show in a beautiful setting. Hope you can join us. Info and tickets at: www.coldriverradio.com. 

Sat, July 18th 2:30 League of Vermont Writers Summer Event, Jerry Johnson's, Albany, Vermont: I will be giving a presentation on The Importance of Literary Mentors. This is a day long gathering for all those who love the written word with many presentations and time for networking. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, May7th  1-4pm Camp Hochelaga, South Hero, Vermont: appearing with legendary Vermont musician, Rick Norcross at a benefit for the camp. 

Thursday, April 30th 5:30-7:30pm Shelburne Vineyard, Shelburne, Vermont, a benefit with Stephen and nine other Vermont authors for the Cynthia K. Hoehl Institute for Excellence at the Stern Center. Mingle with the authors, enjoy wine and delicious food and get your books personally signed.

Tuesday, April 28th 6:30 Sheldon, Vermont Library for an evening with Stephen and Rick Norcross to discuss Riding My Guitar - The Rick Norcross Story. We will discuss Rick's fascinating life and he promises to play a few of his wonderful Vermont songs. 

Thursday, April 16 10:30am: Stephen will visit the Ocean Park, Maine Book Group at the Pines for a discussion of his novel, Cliff Walking. 

Saturday, May 23rd 1pm: Stephen will appear with Rick Norcross at the Green Mountain Folklore Society meeting at Holy Trinity Church, 38 Grand Ave, Swanton, Vermont. Stephen will discuss his book, Riding My Guitar - The Rick Norcross Story, and Rick will perform some of his great songs and answer questions from the audience about his fascinating life. Books and CD's will be available for sale and personalized signings.


Stephen was a featured author at Behind The Book, an author's panel discussion followed by writing workshops Sat April 5, 2014 from 1-3pm at the St. Albans, Vermont Library on Maiden Lane just off beautiful Taylor Park. Please join us to talk about how we find and harness creativity and turn it into the written word. Refreshments will be served. Hope to see you there. Info: 802-524-1507


Stephen's novel Cliff Walking is now in stock in all Sherman Bookstores in Maine. Please visit these great independent bookstores in Bar Harbor, Camden, Boothbay Harbor and Freeport.

Riding My Guitar - The Rick Norcross Story has been released by Cedar Ledge Publishing as part of the celebration of Rick's 50th anniversary as a professional musician. Our kick off event will be held at Phoenix Books Burlington, Thursday, June 20, 2013, 7pm and will feature Stephen talking about the book and Rick performing some of his classic folk songs. Stephen will also be speaking in between sets when Rick and The Ramblers Western Swing Band play a special concert Sunday June 30, 2013, 5:30 at the Grand Isle Lake House for Island Arts. A portion of proceeds from the book will be donated to The Lake Champlain Land Trust Stay tuned for multiple other events featuring Rick and Stephen that will be sure to entertain. Please buy your books at local bookstores but if you can't, all books are available at Amazon.com.

Buy Riding My Guitar At Amazon

Stephen Russell Payne is a fourth-generation Vermonter from the Northeast Kingdom. A surgeon by trade, he has been writing most of his life and has published many stories, both fiction and non-fiction. His acclaimed debut novel, Cliff Walking, was released in 2011 andis available through bookstores and through Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.comA portion of proceeds from sales will be donated to causes working to end spousal and child abuse, including Prevent Child Abuse Vermont .

Already garnering impressive endorsements, this is an intense, passionate love story that takes readers on a riveting emotional journey. Once you've begun reading, you simply won't want to put it down. 

New June 2013 review of Cliff Walking by Frederick Green, MD in General Surgery News.

As renowned American writer, X. J. Kennedy, says of Cliff Walking , "Payne is in top form."

Stephen and Rick Norcross appeared on WCAX - CBS TV live from the Champlain Valley Fair 8-28-13. Check it out here.

Payne and Rick Norcross appeared on Positively Vermont to discuss Riding My Guitar - The Rick Norcross Story:

Payne appeared with Linda Johnson, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Vermont on Burlington Ch 17 TV's program Positively Vermont to talk about Cliff Walking, which can be viewed here:

You can watch a brief video of Payne's 2011 Cliff Walking interview on WCAX-CBS TV Ch 3 here:

Please check out this story in Seven Days that talks about Cliff Walking being a top selling regional book.

Listen to Vermont Public Radio's Vermont Edition 6-25-12 when Phoenix Books owner, Mike Desanto discusses their best seller, Cliff Walking.


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“Stephen Payne’s short stories have shown him to be among New England’s finest writers of regional fiction. His debut novel, Cliff Walking , is an absorbing story, skillfully told. Not every writer can interest us in characters who are generous, kind, and good, like Francis, Kate, and Stringer. All three have known horrific events, and have survived. We believe in these characters and care about them. What Payne has given us isn’t a plotless “literary”novel, but a warm and touching love story full of suspense and conflict, likely to have wide popular appeal. I like this story a lot. ”

–  X. J. Kennedy, award winning American poet, writer and editor

“Stephen Russell Payne has emerged as a new voice in Vermont's impressive pantheon of creative writers, and a powerful one.  For years I've enjoyed his journalism and short fiction.  Now, with his first novel, he has written a dramatic story of suspense, love, and redemption.  Cliff Walking is written with clarity, passion, and great sympathy for, and understanding of, all aspects of human nature.”

– Howard Frank Mosher, author of Walking to Gatlinburg, Northern Borders, Disappearances, A Stranger in the Kingdom and seven other books. He is the recipient of the New England Book Award.

“No one writes with as much passion and insight about northern Vermont as Stephen Russell Payne. With the meticulousness of a surgeon, and the lyricism of a poet, Payne captures the tenacity and honesty of the denizens of the Green Mountain State's small towns and villages. Reading Payne is like a visit from a good old friend. His tales are always infused with equal measures of humor, wisdom, and love."

– Jennifer Finney Boylan, best selling, award winning author of She’s Not There, and twelve other books