Saturday, September 20, 2014


Hawley is a real place. It is a town of 300 souls, bisected by a huge state forest. There are many cellar holes in the forest -- once a few hundred people lived there. And now they are gone. I have always found this fascinating. Here is a photo of the Middle Road entrance to the forest:
I used to ride my horse there. And walk my dogs. It seemed incredibly magical, with its old stone walls, and those ancient foundations. Ancient, at least, for New England. 
So, the title came to me first. The Hawley Book of the Dead. It haunted me, just the title, for a few years, all the time I was writing another book and a half (also set in my half-real, half-fictional version of the hilltowns of western Mass, and still in the drawer). Then, while I was riding in the forest one day, I got a vivid image of a woman riding frantically through the forest, searching for her missing daughters. And that is how The Hawley Book of the Dead was born. 


  1. Congratulations on your book and on your starred reviews, which are as difficult to get as a handful of stardust. I WILL read your book and so look forward to it.

  2. Forests are full of past secrets, and I love trying to discover them, whether human history or geological! Here in the Hudson Valley near where I live there was a lot of iron mining, Revolutionary War treks, and glacial geological history. Fascinating!
    I loved your book! I came across it on the NPR post on Facebook regarding the best books of 2014. And then I found the connection to the Odyssey Bookshop, because my daughter is a Senior at MHC! Western Massachusetts is a bit magical in itself, with its rich history and dinosaur footprints!
    Looking forward to your next book! Best of luck!

    1. Thanks so much for reading! I, too, love the Hudson Valley, another truly magical place!