While raising two children, Maryann
McFadden spent ten years working as a freelance writer with articles in
a variety of newspapers and magazines. She then left writing for nearly
a decade and became one of Northwest New Jersey’s top realtors. Her love
of writing, however, never really left her. Maryann went back to school
and received a Master’s Degree with a concentration in writing. The
Richest Season began as her thesis project.
She has a B.A. in English from Rutgers
University and a Master’s Degree in Writing from William Paterson
University. Her articles have appeared in WORKING WOMAN, WOMEN’S SPORTS
& FITNESS, FEELING GREAT, RUNNER’S GAZETTE, and many other magazines.
She received an award for an excerpt of a screenplay at The Philadelphia
Writers Conference and was a finalist in The Master’s Poetry Series. In
addition to writing the corporate publications of Binney & Smith, makers
of Crayola products, she has taught writing at Centenary College in New
She lives in Hackettstown, NJ, with
her husband, Patrick.
Readers and writers, visit
www.maryannmcfadden.com and share your thoughts.
since I was a little girl, nothing gave me more pleasure than losing
myself in a good book. And now, as a writer, I get that same joy as I
lose myself in the creation of a rich and intricate story with memorable
characters. Characters who are not so very different from you and me,
really, as they struggle to find their way in life.
I began writing poetry and stories in high school. After college, I
worked as a freelance writer while raising my babies, squeezing writing
time in while they napped in the afternoons. I wrote for a variety of
newspapers and specialized in health and fitness articles for magazines
such as WORKING WOMAN and WOMEN'S SPORTS & FITNESS. But after nearly a
decade of working mostly from home, a bit lonely, I must admit, I left
writing and pursued a career in real estate, of all things. I found
myself becoming intimately involved in people's lives. I loved it. And I
was good at it.
For the next 15 years, I helped my customers sell their homes, whether
for a job transfer, a divorce, a death, or simply the need for a change
in life. I also helped them to pursue their dreams as they sought a
first home, a cottage by the river to soothe a grieving heart, or a
little ranch after spending more than 50 years in a rambling Victorian.
These stories of people's lives, I began to realize, were rich and
precious, the kinds of stories people like to read about..
And then my own children began leaving the nest, and the need to write
again began to consume me.
I returned to school, got a Master's Degree in Literature with a
Concentration in Writing, and turned to the kind of writing I always
loved best: fiction. My first novel, THE RICHEST SEASON, is the story of
a corporate wife who runs away. As a realtor, I witnessed first-hand the
trials and tribulations of families relocating every few years all
around the world. My second novel, SO HAPPY TOGETHER, has the flavor of
a mystery with a touch of humor, and is a little bit closer to home.
It's the story of a small town realtor and his family, and the secrets
they've each been hiding from each other.
I enjoy setting my stories in the kinds of places I like to escape to.
THE RICHEST SEASON takes place at one of my favorite beaches in the
world, Pawley's Island, South Carolina. And SO HAPPY TOGETHER unfolds in
a charming little town in northwest New Jersey, not unlike the place
where I live.
My writing is filled with things I am passionate about: nature,
wildlife, gardening, writing, family, love, and the spiritual side of
life. And also the complicated dance of the human heart.
I am currently in the process of writing novel number 3, which, not
unlike my previous stories, began to unfold in my mind while walking on
a beach. It's a funny and touching story about Susan, who is about to
divorce the husband she still loves. She's also trying to get her novel
published after 150 rejections. She stumbles into a Happy Hour at
Bethany Beach, Delaware, and meets a cast of characters who are about to
change her life. Right now, these characters are having complete
conversations in my head and I need to write them down.
All the best,
Coming soon: So Happy Together.
THE RICHEST SEASON
Maryann McFadden -- Aventine Press --
A lonely corporate wife who runs away from home. An elderly
woman facing a devastating loss. A top executive adrift in the world after he’s
fired. These are the characters in Maryann McFadden’s The Richest Season.
Set on beautiful Pawley’s Island, South Carolina, and the rolling hills of
Northern New Jersey, here is a novel about second chances occurring at the most
inopportune times in life. In three parallel journeys Joanna, Paul and Grace
walk away from lives they always thought they wanted, only to rediscover a part
of themselves they’d all but forgotten.
After more than a dozen moves in 25 years of marriage,
Joanna Harrison is lonely and tired of being a corporate wife. The morning
after her husband Paul’s surprise promotion to vice-president, she commits the
first selfish, irresponsible act of her adult life: she runs away. She drives a
thousand miles to Pawley’s Island, S.C., a place she’s been just once and finds
a live-in position with Grace Finelli, an old woman who has come to the island
to die alone. Together the two women embark on the most difficult journey of
their lives: Joanna, struggling for independence, roots, and a career of her
own, as her family tugs at her from afar, and Grace, choosing to live the last
months of her life for herself alone, knowing she may never see her children
again. Entwined is Paul Harrison’s story, as he loses his wife, his job,
everything that has defined him as a man. Gradually he becomes the neighborhood
handyman, befriends the lonely wife of another transferee, and realizes all that
he has sacrificed in his quest for success. Despite so much change, one thing
remains constant: he wants his wife back.
Joanna, however, is moving farther and farther away
from him as she’s drawn into island life. She becomes involved in the
effort to rescue endangered loggerhead turtles and eventually begins a
passionate affair with Hank Bishop, a retired shrimper, who shows her
that even grownups need to have fun. A part-time job with a small
newspaper plants the seed from which a future dream grows: to become a
writer. Soon, an article she’s working on pulls her into a class war
spurred by local development. As her new life is taking root,
unavoidable demands from her old life, as well as Grace’s decline, force
Joanna to confront her past and make new decisions about her future.
For Joanna, Paul and Grace, walking away from the
lives they’d always dreamed of gives them each a chance to rediscover a
part of themselves they’d all but forgotten and enter the “the richest
season” of their lives.
What people are saying about THE
Paulette Bates Alden, critically acclaimed author (www.paulettealden.com),
“There are so many remarkably rendered scenes in the book, and so
much honesty and searching and struggle involving three characters
that I grew to love and got very caught up with, that I hated to
come to the end.”
"I love a book that makes me feel like I'm
there. The Richest Season took me to beautiful Pawley's Island
I didn't want to leave." -- Allyson Reynolds, The Book Club at