Having grown up moving from Newfoundland to the Marshall Islands, and (almost) everywhere in between, I cannot be called a native New Englander. However, I am an enthusiastic transplant to a nice town just outside Cambridge. I have never once considered running for Town Meeting.
Your story, “Unleashed” describes a uniquely New England setting for a crime. What was your inspiration?
I live in a town where people are very actively engaged in local issues. Whatever the topic — parking regulations, liquor laws, school committee leadership — my neighbors have strong and vocal opinions. These sometimes result in heated debate at the annual town meeting. We recently had such a debate over the issue of dogs running off-leash in town parks. I began to play with what might happen if passions ran a little too high in one of these debates.
Your story in Thin Ice is your first fiction publication. What advice do you have to people out there still awaiting their first pub?
I almost didn’t submit this story to LBB. At the last possible minute before the deadline, I decided I might as well get in the habit of putting my work out there. I figured it would be good to get used to rejection. (Imagine my surprise when it was accepted!) Fear of rejection can stop you cold. My advice is to keep writing and submitting. As an aside, I’m terrified of heights, but I want to see places that are only accessible by hiking on some scary trails. The more hiking I do, the less scary it gets. Writing is a lot like that.
What are you working on now?
I have a historical mystery novel in progress, set in a small New England village in the years just before the witchcraft scare swept the region. There are also some short stories in varying stages of completeness, none of them historical but all set in New England.