A fondness for mysteries, a fascination with history, and a deep, abiding love of the pianoforte—these, I tell people, are what inspired the Haydn mysteries. But the truth is, it was my Ph.D. in Communication that led me to the mystery genre.
It doesn’t take an advanced degree in human social interaction to know that in life, communication is key. But without it, I doubt I’d have realized the extent to which mysteries rely upon miscommunication and misdirection to achieve their effects.
That insight gave me the confidence to attempt a mystery. I might know very little about creating a puzzle, but I did know quite a bit about the way people communicate—or miscommunicate.
Why historical mysteries, you ask? I was brought up on a diet of eighteenth and nineteenth century writers: Henry Fielding, Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, and Mrs. Gaskell, to name a few. An M.A. in English reinforced my love of these works. So, despite its many imperfections, I find myself more comfortable in that world of horse-drawn carriages, cobblestone streets, and old-fashioned values. It’s there that my imagination flourishes.
I’d read all the Sherlock Holmes mysteries when I was younger, so as an adult I turned to Bruce Alexander, Stephanie Barron, Kate Kingsbury, and Emily Brightwell.
Along the way I trained as a journalist and worked for CNBC and Reuters. I also did some freelance writing, selling travel articles and short stories as an English grad at UConn. But, despite the private piano lessons I had as a child and singing lessons at school, I never thought I’d compose music. That, I’m convinced, is a gift from Haydn!
If you’re interested in listening to some of my works, there are sound samples on my Sheet Music page.
If you’re an aspiring author, AgentInsight, the column I write for the SinC Guppies chapter newsletter, First Draft, might help you in your quest for publication.
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