“My Name is Rebecca: A Novelette” is historical fiction that was inspired by my mother’s family who came to America in the early 1900s from Russia for a better life. The reader accompanies the family on their voyage to America, the process of going through Ellis Island, and their time in the Lower East Side of New York. While the story is fiction, I included some situations that I heard while growing up. I will be glad to share those stories with anyone who contacts me after reading the book. As an added note, the photo on the cover is of my mother when she was four years old in 1937.
My first novelette, “Envelopes of Hope,” was inspired by my daughter after she went into rehab. Sara sent a letter to me, thanking me for not giving up on her. From that came the story of a young girl who fell into the world of drugs. With the support of her family, she was able to leave that world and find happiness that had eluded her since she was a young child.
If you read “When Shadows Linger” (and I hope you will), watch for the butterfly table. When I was in 4th grade, I wrote a paper titled, “My Dream House.” The only part I remember is the butterfly table. While writing the book, the story came back to me and I remembered exactly how I had described it. I hope you enjoy it. Hey–you might even see it in the sequel, “The Primrose Garden.”
“When Shadows Linger,” my first full-length novel, was inspired by the beauty of Vermont. My goal was to write a story set in Middlebury after my husband and I visited for the first time. Looking back, I’m still amazed at how the story of Maggie, a young widow, was created. The words just came to me as I sat at the computer, or with a legal pad and pencil. It was amazing to me, and still is five years later, that the story evolved like magic. I wanted the reader to accompany Maggie on her emotional journey as she sought a new life. And I wanted the reader to laugh and cry with Maggie, and I successfully created her to tug at the heart. As someone who was born in the middle of winter in Wisconsin and lived in Canada for a time, I’ve always loved fall and winter. (PLEASE don’t get me started on how I ended up in Florida with summers that last for twelve months!!) I knew that I had to have descriptions of autumn and winter that would put me there in my mind—and I accomplished that. Looking through the book, I see that my skill as a writer has improved in the past five years. For example, I have fine-tuned my writing so that it’s not wordy like it was. Wordiness makes it “corny” and I smile when I see that in the book. But I wanted to portray a writing style that people who read my books would associate with me, such as my descriptions of the seasons; stories that involve situations that we can all relate to as a society; my skills as a social worker that can provide inspiration and hope to people. And don’t laugh, but there is not one single word in the book that could be considered offensive. It’s true—not one “dirty” word. To make Middlebury come alive for my readers, I included names of real businesses we had visited, with the permission of the owners. Formatting has also improved for me since I published the book and I had the cover re-done by a professional who captured exactly what I had pictured in my mind. For a sample of “When Shadows Linger,” visit the Passage page.