I’m a native of the Finger Lakes region of New York and have resided in New Hampshire for many years. As a young girl, I wrote poems and short skits and knocked on neighbors’ doors asking if I could perform for them. I would often take along a friend to give me courage and to act out the skits with me. Louisa May Alcott, the Bronte sisters, Daphne DeMaurier, Thomas Hardy, George Eliot, and Charles Dickens inspired me to become a writer. I read these books in my bedroom, beneath a tree or in a tree, and by a waterfall. I became the characters and forgot who I was and where I was. I wanted to write like these authors . . . and to make people laugh and cry. Robert Frost said, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” I also seek to sew my stories together with the unbreakable golden thread of hope. This golden thread oftentimes is a rare and buried treasure that has to be found with great tenacity and prescience. It cannot be contrived.
I have long possessed a deep interest in the tragedies and triumphs of the Irish during the Great Hunger and felt the influence of my ancestors in writing The Irish Dresser Series. My newest novel, Catharine, Queen of the Tumbling Waters took many years to research and write. Growing up, Catharine Montour was a mysterious heroine of local history. “Writing is an affair of yearning for great voyages and hauling on frayed ropes.” (Israel Shenker). Along with a few rope burns, I continue writing. And baking. I go to the kitchen to measure out flour and scenes, adding just enough sweetness throughout. I enjoy Irish set dancing, traveling, reading, painting, baking fanciful desserts, hiking, raising Monarchs, kayaking, creating events that include food and dance, laughing until it hurts, and dreaming about possibilities.