I have completed my second novel with the working title A Plague on Both Their Houses. The story is set in Medieval Norway in 1349 at the time of the plague and tracks the harrowing lives of two survivors. Astra is a 15-year old maiden who loses everyone she loves in the Great Pestilence and must deal with an unwanted pregnancy as the result of a rape. Death, storms, and deceit lead her on a path of challenge and endurance. Kjell is a hunter who loses his young wife and child to the plague, but past violent mistakes cause him to live as an outlaw. His agony leads him to the far north, and a lonely trail toward redemption. What events finally reach through the darkness to give them each hope?
The manuscript for A Plague on Both Their Houses is awaiting historical review as I search for a publisher.The most challenging parts of writing a book set in the 1300's are the extensive amounts of research required and the fact that many sources are written in Norwegian, which I do not understand. But I have found wonderfully helpful Norwegian speakers and historians who have pointed me in the right direction. Please watch for my new novel soon!
The Away Place My first book, published in 2009, tells the story of John, an institutionalized adult with Down Syndrome who thrived by using his creativity and imagination to escape the bleakness of his cloistered world. When John is suddenly thrust into a community group home he faces the greatest challenges of his life. Sarah is a doctoral student whose crusade to rescue disabled adults from the monolithic asylum is motivated by her mother's startling deathbed confession. Starting the group home with John and four others, Sarah is confronted by the extreme demands of 24-hour care for five severely disabled men. Together she and John weather the deepest struggles and greatest joys of life in what John calls the world outside, “The Away Place."