"Would you believe a picture on the wall of a defunct cotton mill could inspire a series? Could a New England mill town be a vibrant sense of place for the setting? Yes and yes! The seed for the stories in The Maine Shore Chronicles was a lithograph, circa 1845, of a woman tending a spinning frame in a local cotton mill. In my mind's eye the woman in the picture metamorphosed into my grandmother, who actually came to that town with her family in 1890 to work in the mills. the lithograph inspired me to write a series about characters with a mix of my heritage in a real place on Maine's coast that is steeped in ethnicity and tradition.
Chasing after the source of that drawing for permission to use it in my writing was a three month's search that tested my patience. I discovered that the original lithograph was held in the collections of a textile museum in Massachusetts. After many phone calls, letters and emails I received permission from the museum to place the drawing in my first book of the Maine Shore Chronicles series, Finding Fiona. Research and writing of three books in this series has taken six years. I realized that getting published was one part luck,one part talent and one part persistence, and I'm certain I had the last part. I mix mysticism with faith in the books with what I hope is surprising results. My new book, Promise Keeper, contains a smidgen of mysticism from my family background. My great grandmother was a healer and a seer. Those skills are inherited by my series continuing character, Tante Margaret.That brings us full circle, since my inspiration for Tante was the woman in the 1840's lithograph."
I'll tuck that one away for a future book! For now the hall is decked, carols fill the air, and greetings and gifts are mailed. All is in readiness because spouse and I will be celebrating Christmas aboard a sailing ship this year. Meantime, I extend wishes for a blessed and joyful Christmas, a happy Hanukkah and a peaceful New Year to all.