Walking the Walk

One of the great pleasures of writing historical novels is visiting the sites where my characters lived, loved and worked and where events occurred affecting their destinies. I was fortunate to experience Edgar Degas’s New Orleans studio while researching Creole Son, Glenburnie Manor in Natchez where The Goat Castle Murder occurred, the old Spanish California missions which were the setting for Communion of Sinners, and even Abu Simbel, Egypt, for a long-ago historical romance entitled O’Rouark’s Treasure. More recently I traveled down to Richmond to explore Tuckahoe, one of five plantation houses figuring prominently in my latest work-in-progress, Defamed! Tuckahoe was the childhood home of Nancy Randolph who, in 1792, was at the core of America’s first great...

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Madam X

When I announced my retirement last summer, I was bemused when so many people refused to believe me. It turned out some of you knew me better than I know myself. Lately I’ve felt like Mark Twain whose obituary was prematurely published in America after he fell ill in London. His response was a cable fired off to the offending newspaper stating, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”  I hereby declare, rather sheepishly, that the same is true of my retirement. So why another book when, after working over half a century, I was free to focus on gardening, travel, films, volunteer work and reading?  My undoing came in a book on the Randolphs of Virginia and a woman who spawned what was arguably the biggest scandal in 18th Century...

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