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About the Author

I spent my career in the world of economics, finance, and real estate development. During that time, I authored Fundamentals of Development Finance, a reference book for practitioners and also a university textbook. Now, I have returned to my great love, history, the primary major of my undergraduate degree, to write fiction.


Though I would never work in the field of history, it remained my avocation, so much so that after marrying David, also a history lover, we embarked on a six-year odyssey to see the wonders of the world. Along the way, we sojourned in Sydney, Australia, and Denver, Colorado, to work in our fields and replenish our wallets. It was an extraordinary experience that altered our outlooks forever. There were challenges too. Among them, I survived cholera in India, and we thwarted an attack by wild dogs while riding bikes on a lonely road in Bali.


We finally settled down in Washington, D.C., where I earned an M.B.A. degree in finance and became Director of Research and Technical Assistance for the Council for Urban Economic Development. Not long after, I went into business on my own, founding Richards Development Company to undertake industrial and commercial real estate development projects. At the same time, David was developing large-scale office buildings, as development director for one firm and vice president of another. He later joined my company. 


After twenty-five years in Washington, D.C., the itch to try something new and to travel again took hold, so we left our demanding real estate business behind and embarked on a new career of writing historical novels about cities we love. We felt confident that our worldly experiences and knowledge of city dynamics would help us create compelling plots and authentic characters.


Wanting to return to beautiful Sydney, Australia, we chose it as the subject for our first novel. David and I initially researched and wrote together, but eventually realized that a novel requires a single voice and that a happy marriage can be strained by differing opinions on storyline and interpretations of history. So, we agreed that David should finish the project because he had outlined the story, and I would assist. Destiny in Sydney and its sequel Gift of Sydney were published with D. Manning Richards as author.


Meanwhile, I began scoping out my own historical novel about Amsterdam, a city that had long fascinated me, going back to growing up in New York State. The Dutch founded New Amsterdam, later renamed New York City, and left a legacy of notable families and Dutch place names throughout the state.


After leaving Sydney, we moved to Paris, France, to put me closer to Amsterdam and for David to write a novel about WWII Paris. For the next four and a half years, we lived in a tranquil rented apartment in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood. It was an inspiring location, where famous authors—Hemingway, Sartre, Wilde, and others—lived, loved, and wrote. Remarkably, we both managed to complete our manuscripts and have them critiqued by beta readers, despite indulging in the many diversions of this wonderful city and hosting numerous guests.


Our next destination was Nice on the French Riviera, being drawn to its sunny climate, stunning beach, and easy access to snow skiing. It was also the setting for David's sequel. Soon after arriving COVID-19 struck, and we spent the next two and a half years enduring lockdowns, polishing our manuscripts, and searching for publishers. At the end of our stay in summer 2022, David's Paris in Ruins debuted, and mine was moving toward publication.


We are now back home in the Washington DC area, getting reacquainted with the city and our old neighborhood, both of which had changed immensely during our eleven years of living overseas. Most importantly, Amsterdam Ascendant, was published on November 30, 2023, and I'm ecstatic!