JM writes fiction set against the sweep of history. She grew up with a penchant for epics a la Thorn Birds and James Michener novels. A love of Native American dolls, Little House on the Prairie books and trips with her father to Revolutionary War battle fields sparked a passion for history. At age fourteen, her life changed when a first edition of Gone With the Wind dropped into her hands. By sixteen she was writing historical novels and recalls an eccentric streak and flair for the dramatic, love of Old Hollywood glamor and fondness for lounging in Jean Harlow peignoir sets in which she took to entertaining girlfriends with her stories. The biggest laughs came by those delighted to know they had made their way into the pages.
As an undergraduate at Boston College, she indulged a great love of Russian history and literature and studied Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Pasternak, with hopes of taking a PH.D, but life took her in another direction. And there was always writing needling her. Writing about history felt like the perfect compromise and she never imagined her first two books would be set in the twilight era of the samurai. Yet the undercurrent of that love of Russian history managed to creep its way into the books in meaningful ways. Russia is near Japan on the world map, and she came to Japan through knowledge gained of both those countries. It was a natural extension of a thread that all started with a little fascination over the Geisha.
In the 1990’s, when she was researching the tragic history of the Last Romanovs, she read about the Geisha for fun. That led to more books and more research that branched off into the story of the real Madame Butterfly, the subject of Puccini’s opera. She tucked it away, and when she began thinking about a novel set in Japan, the lure of that silky world tantalized her enough to abandon another manuscript in favor of what would become CONCUBINE.
She drew on research skills acquired during her graduate studies, and delved into the hidden world that proved powerfully erotic, and discovered the legendary Japanese courtesan, igniting her imagination till a story was burning to be told.
Person she’d most like to be and life she’d like to live:
You will hear thunder and remember me,
And think: she wanted storms.
JM’s travels the world-some of her favorite places are Greece, Rome, Florence, Malta, South of France, Monaco, Turkey and the Hawaiian Islands and plans to keep traveling with a trip to London and the Orient Express in the near future. Her mascot and writing buddy Rory, a winsome Maltese puppy keeps her on her toes.