Author, storyteller...persistent writer
I've been writing ever since I learned to make letters at the age of four, at a blackboard my parents set up in the kitchen. I had fifteen minutes of literary fame in the 1990s when Dutton/Penguin/Putnam published one of my books, then lots of hard anonymous slogging since. But I've learned to dig in and keep writing, because as they say, if you sit at the table long enough, eventually the chips (a metaphor here for faithful readers) do come your way.
My recent article in Publisher's Weekly Sept. 10, 2018 https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/columns-and-blogs/soapbox/article/77889-on-being-a-catholic-writer.html
Interview in National Catholic Reporter Dec. 7, 2018: https://www.ncronline.org/news/people/memories-mertons-path-linger-st-bonaventure-university
And you are all very dear to me, with your effusive letters and showing up at my readings and signings—I need to beg your indulgence for the next few months, as circumstances conspire to keep me from releasing my next book just yet. I had hoped to release Names of the Fathers on January the 15th, but I need to hit the pause button on that for now. Don’t worry: It’s done and complete, but there are reasons I need to hold back on its publication for now.
First of all, my husband and I are trying to relocate from our frantic and most unpeaceful New Jersey suburb of New York City (I suppose the term is ‘bedroom community’ but that always sounds faintly illicit to me), although where we will end up is still a real-life mystery we urgently need to solve. It’s not an easy move to make all of a sudden, as I’m sure anyone who’s lived in the same community for nearly three decades can attest to. We have a big house full of stuff, most of which has to go. Moreover, we’re sandwiched between concerns for a grown daughter, currently living in Tennessee; and my own aging parents, down in Florida, so it’s a busy time.
But that’s not the only reason. I have every intention of making Hard Cider Abbey into a very long running series of mysteries, and indeed, have the next three books already in some stage of completion. I love writing the series but find the marketing and promotion extremely difficult, and so I am beginning to explore new ways of getting it out there. I am hoping this won’t take too much time ….but to be realistic, it probably will take more time that you or I would like. So I do apologize, deeply, but I promise you it will be worth the wait. Hope seems to be the key word, in general, for 2019: We have no where else to go, but up!
Called to Serve: The Untold Story of Father Irenaeus Herscher OFM was published by the Franciscan Institute in November 2018. The official biography of Thomas Merton's "Happy little Franciscan" and librarian, as well as spiritual advisor to many, including yours truly. Father's story comprises several threads: his journey to America at the start of World War I as an impoverished 11-year-old from Alsace-Lorraine; his call to vocation, while working as 17-year-old shipyard worker in Camden, NJ, then his unlikely rise into the halls of academe as a highly regarded historian and archivist. He becomes a kind of "Father Gump" as his life intersects with many famous personalities and big events of the 20th century, and he had a lot of stories to tell. Available from the Franciscan Institute, franciscanpublications.com (paperback, $24.99) or as an e-book from Nook/Barnes and Noble ($8.49) More information at the Facebook page "Remembering Father Irenaeus"