The joys and constraints of writing about a friend

Secret footage of our photo shoot with Adrien Bisson (, courtesy Diane Hall.
This month's issue of Merrimack Valley Magazine includes an interview with my friend, the funny, encouraging, colorful, and talented Holly Robinson. You should certainly run out and find a copy, but until you do, you can read the article here:

Beach Plum Island: A story of sand and sisters.

One drawback of writing for magazines is the space limitation. I had to condense what I know about Holly and her latest book into just a few hundred words, which is a challenge. My goal for this piece was to offer a few tidbits which illustrate the depth of emotion into which Holly taps, along with samples of her lyrical language.

But that leaves a whole bunch out. I could write any number of articles about Holly's belly-laugh-inducing memoir The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter. And last night I finished reading another of her novels titled Sleeping Tigers which is fodder for a few more pieces. But there's a lot more to Holly than just her work.

You know that feeling, that rare experience of meeting someone and immediately knowing you want to become friends? That's how it was when I met Holly. There was something about the way that she interacted with people at the writer's event we were attending that made me like her immediately. She was curious, and listened thoughtfully. She responded generously. She laughed at herself, and with others. My gut told me that there was something really good there.

A year or two later and we re-met at a similar writer's dinner, connecting again and this time continuing our connection. She's a source of great advice, encouragement, and laughter.

Plus she's a damned good writer.

So check out the article. And buy her books. And post reviews on Amazon and GoodReads and all the other places reviews are posted. She'll appreciate it, and so will I.