Visiting The Donkey Sanctuary, Cork, Ireland

Constance was born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where her mother grew up after the family emigrated from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Growing up in the New York area in the home of great readers, Constance was exposed to all sorts of people, books, music, theater and art. Fortunately, everyone around her was viciously funny and lacking in pretension, so her first writing, at age nine, was detective fiction with loads of snappy dialogue.

Coming out in the New York of a less welcoming time gave her the world of clubbing, lovers and roommates, stymied writing, low-paying jobs and part-time college study at Hunter College. At age twenty-eight, she moved to the Boston area, where she was lucky enough to meet her wife, and disciplined just enough to complete a BS and MS in Biology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. For nineteen years she worked as a biologist in research and development before the writing itch hit again, this time prompted by a televised interview of the novelist Sarah Waters in 2004, who explained that she’d written Tipping the Velvet because she wanted to write what she wanted to read. Struck to her core by that explanation, Constance began writing again. She’s spent the last thirteen years writing steadily, mostly on the weekends, producing two novels and several short stories, working now with editor and award-winning historical novelist (her fourth novel, The King’s Agent, received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly; her latest release, The Competition, is a Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choice), Donna Russo Morin.

Constance’s fiction incorporates her love of origins as well as journeys taken at a walking pace, with a lot of attention paid to the world. The Irish family stories found a lifelong home in Constance, and formed her as a writer. She creates characters who feel the dislocation, resilience and regret common to all emigrants and the families they leave behind.

Constance and her wife live in the foothills of the Berkshires. Both raised in the city, they love the country life: the inconvenience, knowing where their water and much of their food comes from, the seasonal rhythms and dark night skies, the birds and animals, the crystalline air and the rivers, and the constant socializing with close friends and neighbors.