Q & A with Connecticut Authors: Michaela MacColl
September 29, 2022 • Features & News, Q & A

Registration is open for the 2022 Connecticut Book Awards!

When: October 23, 2022 | 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Where: Hartford Public Library


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COVID is still with us, although easing off a little, thank goodness. Did you have a favorite comfort genre to turn to when things were looking bleak? Something that lifted you away and to a different place for a while?

I love historical mysteries. They tend to be series so you don’t worry too much about the main character as they explore a puzzle in the past. I always learn something and enjoy trying to solve the mystery.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Almost anywhere! From obscure historical plaques to an article in the Smithsonian Magazine – I am often struck by ideas and plots – they all go into a digital notebook. When I start ordering books to do research, it means I’m hooked.

Who made reading important to you?

My parents were both huge readers. I can’t remember a time when we didn’t have books in the house.  

How would you describe your books? 

I write historical fiction – but I try to make it feel fresh and modern –without being anachronistic!

Who has been the biggest influence on your work? 

Definitely Patricia Reilly Giff. She was my first writing teacher and a constant source of inspiration and advice. While I was writing my first novel, I mentioned to her this family story that became View from Pagoda Hill. For the next decade she would remind me about it. I am so grateful that she got to see the book’s dedication to her before her death.

What books did you enjoy as a child? 

My favorite books were A Wrinkle In Time, The Chronicles of Narnia and The Prydain Chronicles. But I also spent a summer with an aunt who had nothing but Agatha Christie novels on her shelves – so those became favorites too.



Michaela MacColl is the award-winning author of several historical novels, including The Revelation of Louisa May, Always Emily, and The Lost Ones. She is the co-author of Rory’s Promise and Freedom’s Price. She has degrees in multi-disciplinary history from Vassar College and Yale University. She and her family live in Westport, Connecticut. Visit her at michaelamaccoll.com.




Honorable Mention, 2021 Grateful American Book Prize
NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book

Set in the late 1800s, here is the story of Ning, a Chinese American girl who struggles to find her place in the world when she is forced to leave her home in Shanghai to go live in America with a father she barely knows. This middle-grade historical novel is based on the family history of award-winning author Michaela MacColl.

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