I am a New Englander to the core, currently calling Massachusetts home. I love to visit other places, but New England has always been home, and always will be. I was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1963. We moved to the central part of the state when I was two years old, and for the next four years, we lived in a haunted house (cool now; scary then!). Both of my parents were born and raised in Vermont and many members of my enormous extended family still live there. I consider it my home-away-from-home and would be delighted to call it just plain “home.”
Growing up, history was always the “topic du jour,” and dinner conversation could have just as easily revolved around the American Revolution or the Peloponnesian War as it could around current events. It was a no-brainer for me to choose history as my undergraduate degree major, and later, to work for three years as a Museum Assistant at Old Sturbridge Village.
Books are one of the greatest joys in my life, right up there with cats. Curling up in a cozy spot with a book in my hands and my two cats nestled close by is pure heaven. It comes as no surprise then that writing is another of my great loves. I have been telling myself stories for as long as I can remember. Once I started writing them down, I began a journey of creation and adventure that unlocked a whole new world for me. I discovered an unrelenting appetite for writing compelling tales of indomitable women immersed in the little known, unexpected, and often mysterious events of history.
I learned that I don’t just love to write, I have to write. There are so many characters in my head begging to have their stories told, that if I didn’t write them, I’m afraid my head would explode! Many years ago when I was a member of the Worcester Writers Workshop, I learned the immense value of having a group of dedicated writers with whom to share writing and feedback. As the WWW is no longer in existence, I now facilitate a writing workshop from my home. There is simply no substitute for a mutually supportive and encouraging group of writers who meet on a regular basis for getting and keeping the creative juices flowing.
One of my life’s core values centers around God. I am very active in my Catholic parish, serving as a lector and member of the RCIA Team. I earned my Master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry at Anna Maria College in Paxton, MA and certificates in Adult Faith Formation and Catholic Social Justice Teaching through the University of Dayton, Ohio. I now facilitate online courses for UDayton’s VLCFF program.
I view environmental justice as an integral part of social justice and have a strong interest in eco-theology. This has led me to several lifestyle changes. I have become an advocate of buying local and in-season and supporting local, small-scale farmers. As much as possible, my food comes from local farms. I have solar panels on my house and am in the process of transforming my entire front lawn into flower and vegetable gardens, with a few fruit trees thrown in for good measure. I also serve on my town’s Agricultural Commission.
Why “History with a Twist”?
I call my writing “history with a twist” because I’m intrigued by the unusual and little-known aspects of history as well as by the paranormal. That’s the twist – the stories on history’s margins, things never taught in the classroom. It’s where history gets really fun.
I love to weave stories with strong, but very human characters who prevail against the odds. My goal is to create a magical experience for readers as they encounter the unexpected.
Look for future novels from me that deal with the New England Vampire Panic, the Salem witch hysteria told from an unusual point of view, and the life and work of a 19th century post-mortem photographer. Next up, however, is Erin’s Children, the sequel to Kelegeen.
Anything in history that is unusual, little-known and has a hint of the otherworldly grabs my attention. That’s when stories begin to form themselves in my mind. Living in a haunted house during my formative years must have left its mark on me!