This is me with one of my spaniels, Bailey, in the Yorkshire Dales. My husband is British, so we go quite frequently and stay on a sheep farm I’ve dubbed “Sheeplandia.” It is one of my favorite places in the world to be.
I’m a historical novelist. My fourth novel, A Transcontinental Affair, will be published on November 1st, 2019. Writing novels brings me great joy. You can read about my experience writing historical novels.
I wrote my very first book in first grade, when I was home sick for a week. It sounded suspiciously similar to “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” and I recall I even had a (plagiarized) foreword that went, “From Here to There, from There to Here, Funny Things Are Everywhere.” Ain’t it the truth!
I recall working on my first “real” novel in my early twenties, strictly vowing to myself that if I didn’t get published by the time I was thirty, I would quit. Well, thirty came and went. Before publishing my first novel, The Midwife’s Revolt, though, I did write and publish dozens of essays, stories, and book reviews in places like The New York Times Book Review, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, AGNI, Fiction, The New England Review, the Harvard Review, and elsewhere. I also wrote three novels that remain on obsolescent floppy drives–where I hope they’ll stay. They are highly flawed; yet by writing them, I learned my craft.
When I finished The Midwife’s Revolt, many agents and editors said there was no market for American historical fiction, so I decided to publish the novel myself. Read the amazing story of how Executive Editor Jodi Warshaw, from Amazon’s Lake Union imprint, came upon this self-published early edition.
The Midwife’s Revolt was the first of a trilogy that has to date sold over a quarter of a million copies. So I’d say that the moral of the story is: persevere. They–all those editors and agents who reject you–might be wrong. But even if they’re not wrong, write until you get better. If you have to, that is. I simply had to.
When not writing, I pursue activities that do not involve words. I am a passionate swing dancer, traveling to Lindy Hop and Balboa dance events across the country. Like the rest of my “crazy but gifted” (husband’s moniker) family, I play many instruments, my current one being jazz clarinet. I also enjoy DJ’ing for dance events. A musical theme emerges…
Finally, I love spending time with my family, which includes two English Springer spaniels, Rory and Bailey, and I particularly love spending time with them either up in our cabin in Maine or in the Yorkshire Dales.
My beloved springers, Rory and Bailey