History and heritage are among my favorite topics, and I couldn’t help it. A native of the state of Maine, I grew up in a family that considered family and roots very important. My father had a career as a game warden, but he came from a long line of farmers, and his family had lived in our small agricultural community for seven generations. My mother’s family had come down from Nova Scotia near the turn of the 20th Century, where they, as Loyalists, had taken refuge many years earlier.
An early reader, I began to write stories as a child. I made tiny books and printed painstakingly in them, a tradition my children continued. My family lived in a stone farmhouse built in the 1850s. It was a house steeped in heritage, and a wonderful place to grow up. As a teenager, I was allowed to keep horses, and I later took a blacksmithing course and became a licensed farrier. (I no longer practice the art, but it has been very helpful in writing historical fiction.)
As an adult, I began writing nonfiction articles for magazines and spent about 25 years as a news correspondent for a daily newspaper. But the urge to write fiction was still there. I began studying genealogy, and the more I learned about the past, the more I wanted to write stories.
My first published novel was a historical, Protecting Amy, set in Wyoming, and people have asked me if it’s about my daughter Amy. The answer is, no, her name is the only thing she has in common with the main character. Some family members from the distant past have made it into my books, though. In my White Mountain Brides series, you’ll find mention of the Otis family. I am a descendant of Richard Otis, the blacksmith who was killed in the Cocheco Massacre of 1689. Other characters are loosely based on real people, and several family members and friends have asked me to name characters after them.
In 2010, I left my home state of Maine, and moved to western Kentucky. My husband Jim and the youngest two of our six children have found a new home in “the north of the south.”
On my day to post next in March, I’ll be giving giving away copies of my books Almost Arizona and A Lady in the Making. If you care to comment today, I’ll draw a winner for another book from this post’s commenters who include their email address. Hope to see you here again!