Tag Archives: Prairie Avenue HIstorical District

How Do You Find the Courage to Choose?

This is a photo of the kitchen of the Glessner House, home of the historical neighbors of the fictional Bannings of Prairie Avenue.

Before the labor reforms that the twentieth century brought, workers had virtually no protection under the law. Employers did not need legal grounds for terminating employment, and they could demand whatever they wanted from workers. If the workers didn’t like it, employers could simply hire someone else. Working in domestic service actually offered more security […]

Is Archie Shepard an Anarchist?

Olivia Newport Haymarket Riot 1886

One of Charlotte’s dilemmas in The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow is what to do about Archie Shepard. Is he really somebody she can trust with her deepest secrets? Mr. Penard, the stuffy butler in the Banning household, also faces a dilemma about what to do with Archie. How can he be sure Archie is not […]

Are You a Snoopy Neighbor?


Do you ever wonder what’s going on around your neighborhood that you might not know about? Most of us are not out-and-out snoops. But we are curious. I once crept out at 11:00 at night because someone unfamiliar was in my neighbors’ front yard and I knew they were in South Dakota for five days. […]

How Many Days Until Charlotte Farrow?

Olivia Newport The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow cover

Five! The answer is five more days until the official release of The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow. But she’s already turning up in mailboxes and bookstore shelves. If you’ve seen it, let me know! If you’ve read it, let me know! I’d love to have you share these days around the release of a new […]

I Got My Box

Olivia Newport Charlotte Farrow cover

Two weeks ago I got one advance copy of The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow. Last week I got my box of author copies. It’s a fun moment. I’ve had this wondrous experience first with The Pursuit of Lucy Banning and then with Accidentally Amish. And now this latest book. Thrilling, I tell you. Thrilling. But […]

Who Decides a Book’s Title?

Olivia Newport The Pursuit of Lucy Banning

I like to tell people the titles of my new books. I just don’t always know the titles. Here’s how it goes. A writer pulls her hair out trying to come up with a zinger of a title that will grab an agent or editor’s attention. Then you sell the project—which may or may not […]

How Many Editors Does One Book Need?

Olivia Newport Lake in winter

Over the winter I had a short-term job. I signed on for seven months with an organization producing textbooks. The project was mid-stream, and the commitment was just until the books went to press. I’ve been away for a couple of months now. Last week the printed books arrived, and I went in to the […]

Antique Clocks and Dressers–With a Story

Olivia Newport antique piano

Why do people collect antiques? I know people whose homes are full of beautiful pieces of furniture that reach back through the decades. If they don’t reach back far enough, or if they are avocado green or mustard yellow, we just call them “retro,” which is a polite word for the early decades of my […]