An Interview with Author Sheila Connolly


Sheila Connolly


Sheila Connolly is an author who lives in Massachusetts, not far   from Cape Cod. She has had many careers, but after 9/11 she decided to pursue her goal of writing a novel. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Sheila by phone.









Sheila, tell me about yourself --- your life before your career as a writer.

I attended Wellesley College, which has a very strong tradition of mystery writers, not that I knew it at the time. After college, I was an art historian (medieval architecture) for a while and then I spent time as an investment banker in San Francisco and Phildelphia. I then spent a few years working as a non-profit fundraiser and then as a professional genealogist. I actually had my own business, known as "Lost Ancestors."

Over the course of my life, I've lived in seven states, nineteen towns and two foreign countries.  I am currently married and have one grown daughter and three cats.

What types of books do you write?

My first books were mysteries, but then I switched to romance novels. My first few books did not seem to impress very many people, but I finally hooked up with a good agent and was able to sign on to write two different mystery series of books for the Berkley Prime Crime. The first series was to be called the "Glassblower Series" and was to be about a woman glassblower in Tucson. I agreed to write the books in the series even though I knew nothing about glassblowing and I had never been to Tucson! The first book in the series is called "Through a Glass, Deadly" and I wrote it under the pen name Sarah Atwell.

Can you give a synopsis of this book?

Through a Glass, DeadlyIt is about glassblower Emmeline Dowell, who has made a home for herself among the artists of Tucson's Warehouse District. Between teaching her craft and selling her wares, she has plenty to do --- not to mention the occasional murder to put a crack in. With a weakness for taking in strays, from homeless dogs to extra students, Emmeline can't help befriending troubled newcomer Allison McBride. But their friendship takes a dangerous turn when Em finds Allison's husband in her studio --- dead.

Now Emmline is involved in a murder investigation that reaches beyond the sunny Southwest. And when the killer acts again, it's up to her to pick up the shards of Allison's life before it's too late.

Tell me about the second book series you are writing.

This series is called the "Orchard Series" and I write it under my real name. The series has more of an organic flavor. The first book in this series is called "One Bad Apple."

I'd like you to give a synopsis of this book.

One Bad AppleWhen Boston investment banker Meg Corey moves to Granford, Massachusetts, things don't go exactly smoothly. She has left behind a Boston job that was swallowed up in a bank merger, and an ex-boyfriend Chandler Hale --- in exchange for a crumbling colonial house and an orchard. She figures she'll spend a little time fixing up the house to sell while she looks for a new job and licks her wounds.

Things take a turn for the worse when Chandler shows up in town to manage a proposed commercial development project, but Meg can handle that. However, when Chandler is found dead by next-door neighbor, plumber Seth Chapin, in her septic tank, Meg is the sheriff's favorite suspect. With Seth's help she identifies the killer, but by then she has discovered that she doesn't want to leave Granford and her orchard.

Are there underlying themes in your books?

Yes, definitely. My books are about women finding out who they are and what they can do with their lives. There is always the theme of responsibility and commitment to community.

Read More About Sheila

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