About R.A. Harold

Roberta Harold is the author (as R.A. Harold) of two historical mysteries, Heron Island and Mortal Knowledge, as well as articles, short stories, poems, and plays. She was born in Glasgow, Scotland, educated at convent schools there, and emigrated to the U.S. with her family in 1965, attending high school in the Washington, D.C. suburbs.

Admitted with the second class of women to Princeton University in 1970, she graduated with the first in 1973—possibly the greatest mistake of her life to date—and went to medical school in Richmond, Virginia for a year and a half before admitting that she was born to be an English major.

Moving to Vermont in 1977, she stumbled into a twenty-plus year career in community and economic development, which involved employment in every branch and level of government except the judiciary, as well as nonprofit, for-profit, and self-employment. She has worked on several political campaigns, including Congressman Morris Udall’s 1976 Presidential bid, and hopes never to do so again.

Robbie is a recovering management consultant who occasionally provides strategic planning, grant writing and marketing research services for housing and community development organizations. This helps to pay the bills to support her writing, which is currently focused on novel-length fiction and short stories.

After a bit of beginner’s luck (3rd place, informal essay, the National Scholastic Writing Contest in 1969), her writing career fell dormant for twenty-five years, except for an occasional creative writing class. It revived when she enrolled in the Bread Loaf School of English in 1997, where she studied playwriting, poetry writing and fiction.

Since leaving Federal employment in 2001 (or, to be fair, being left by it due to the change in Administrations), she has devoted as much time as possible to creative writing, studying at the Vermont Studio Center, the Grub Street writing center in Boston (www.grubstreet.org), the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA (www.fawc.org), and the biannual women writers’ retreats of the A Room of Her Own Foundation (www.aroho.org) at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico.

She has been active in community theater in Vermont since 1997. Favorite roles include Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, Ouiser Boudreau (the Shirley MacLaine character from the movie) in Steel Magnolias, and Mistress Quickly in The Merry Wives of Windsor. A member since 1978 of The Mother of All Book Groups, founded in 1972, and a founding member of the Bardolators, a Shakespeare discussion group, she lives in Montpelier, Vermont and sometimes in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and three cats.