Called a “modern-day Jane Austen,” J.F. Riordan’s lyrical prose and rich characters are a tribute to small town life and the beauty of the ordinary. Peopled with sharply drawn characters whose experiences are by turns serious, mystical, and ridiculous, her books bring into sharp focus the pitfalls and vicious politics that prevail in small towns everywhere.
Before she began writing J.F. Riordan earned her living first as an opera singer, and later as an English teacher in an inner city high school. A transplanted Midwesterner, she lives in exile from Washington Island with her husband and three dogs.
Peopled with sharply drawn characters whose experiences are by turns serious, mystical, and ridiculous, her books bring into sharp focus the pitfalls and vicious politics that prevail in small towns everywhere.
“J.F. Riordan writes with a seductive immediacy which reveals the extraordinary in the lives of people we too carelessly think ordinary. A Small Earnest Question combines keen social observation, engaging characters, quiet humor, and rich sense of place. Rewarding from first page to last.” ~ Richard North Patterson
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Writing for me is normally a joyful process. The words spin a music in my head, and I record them. I know from experience that showing up to this place at this time is the only way to prod myself to create. But now, nothing is working.
Today in the Bluestocking Salon, Bas Bleu sat down (virtually, no masks required!) with novelist J. F. Riordan to learn more about why she chose Door County as her setting, how opera helped shape her novelist’s voice, and what effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on her writing.
Margaret had a collection of stories, and she told them regularly. She was, in Ray Bradbury’s interesting observation, a living time machine, able to bring to life moments that to me seemed ancient history.