A frolicking novel bursting with friendship, community, and more than a bit of intrigue. This book checks every box—clever and punchy writing, the enjoyable setting of a newsy small town, and fall-in-love-with-me characters.
—Jane Willan, author of the Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn Mystery Series
Today’s the day! It’s the official release date for Death at Fair Havens. I heard from a few friends last night that the ebook dropped early, so I took myself on a sunset bike ride to celebrate. August 2014, driving to Horton Center in the White Mountains, my mother and I created the sketches for these characters. Five weeks later, I found out I was pregnant with my first child. Two weeks before he was born (so a month shy of seven years ago), we finished the first draft. In September 2019, we finished the “final” draft. In February 2020, we found our agent, Ben Miller-Callihan. In April 2020, we connected with our publisher, Brain Mill Press, and after many Covid related delays, we arrived here. I wouldn’t change this ride for anything.
People having been asking me for years do you like writing with your mother? isn’t it difficult? do you fight all the time? I could never work with my mother! (That last one isn’t a question, of course, but is the comment I hear most frequently when people find out that we work together.) We’ve been writing together since I was seventeen, when she invited me to help with a book of prayers by young voices. We went to the National Youth Event, and we spoke to many teenagers, convincing them to share their writing with us for Blessing New Voices. I wrote my own pieces as well (which I refuse to look at now, because no one should be forced to reread what they thought was critically important before they even graduated high school), and that was the start of the best working relationship I could imagine.
Even when both of us primarily worked other jobs (she in ministry and leading workshops in writing, me, teaching and working in admin), we took turns pushing projects forward. Now I split my time writing and parenting two young children, and she’s supposedly retired from everything BUT writing (you have never met a worse retired person – she works more than almost anyone I know), so when I get stuck, she takes over, and if she gets overwhelmed, I can keep us going.
Is it always easy? That’s a tough one. I can’t answer for her, but for me, when it comes to the writing, yes. It’s more fun than working alone, and our books are better because of our relationship. That’s not to say every aspect of working together is, as my kids would say, “easy peasy lemon squeezy,” but writing is our happy place. I don’t think either of us is ever as energized as when we’re working on a book or story together.
In fact, there’s a little relief on this end to have the book out in the world because we can start to turn our focus to the free Rev and Rye short story we’re releasing over the summer, as well as the second novel, which is already in the hands of our agent!
With that in mind, if you haven’t gotten your copy of Death at Fair Havens, do it – you could be reading the ebook version right now!