Arts & Entertainment

North Salem Teacher a Published Author

Deborah Rafferty Oswald Credits: Deborah Rafferty Oswald

NORTH SALEM, N.Y.--Deborah Rafferty Oswald has always had a love of history. And since she was a young girl, she knew she wanted to be a writer. Now, the North Salem teacher has found a way to fuse her passions.

Oswald, a fifth-grade teacher at Pequenakonck Elementary School and a member of the Mahopac High School Class of ’78, has written a book, “The Haviland Girls,” that is loosely based on actual events that transpired in neighboring Putnam County and the mid-Hudson Valley region during the early part of the 20th century.

“I started writing stories when I was 9 years old,” Oswald said. “I wrote for the school newspaper and the literary magazine at Mahopac High School. Later, I took a correspondence course after one of my daughters was born and the teacher thought I could make a go at it with historical fiction because I love history. I was writing more contemporary fiction at the time but when [the teacher] asked me about my interests, I started talking about the Victorian period and she said I should research it. A bulb went off and the idea for this story was born.”

Sign Up for E-News

Oswald said she became interested in the Victorian period after watching “Mary Poppins” when she was a child.

“I saw them marching around with signs for the suffragette movement,” she recalled. “But I knew my audience [for the book] would be around 13 or 14 and not have the same interests as me. I needed to write about issues that would resonate and yet put them into a different period. I didn’t want a dry historical account."

• To read more from this story in the newspaper, please request a FREE subscription to North Salem News by clicking on the following link:


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

North Salem

Upcoming Events

Sat, February 24, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Sat, March 3, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Sat, March 10, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Winter Is Fleeting

By some alchemy, winter is flying by us this year. Faster and faster every year of our lives. We’re nearly two-thirds done with the season already. There’s just a month and a few extra days left to withstand. A snap of the fingers and it will be gone. Finished. Another winter to enter into our personal annals, in which we thrived or merely survived.    

Soon ...

A Trip to the 'Liberry'

Raise your hand if you didn’t—did not—call the library the “liberry” when you were little. I’m guessing not a lot of hands just went up.

Didn’t just about all of us say “liberry” when we were learning to read? (Well, whaddya expect when a place is named something way too easy for little kids to mispronounce?)

OK. Now, raise your hand if ...

I'm Mrs. Heat Miser

To be perfectly honest, I did not need a large rodent with insomnia to convince me that we had six more weeks of winter. It’s been so cold outside lately that when I go out, my nostrils stick together. The dog is so hesitant to go out that he does his business right on the deck, less than five feet from the door, and then gives me a look of contemptuous indignation when he comes back in the ...

'Bravo' to Column on Trump

February 15, 2018

To the editor,

I am responding to guest columnist Sy Globerman’s article, “Trump is revivifying America” in the Thursday, Feb. 8 edition of your newspaper.

Mr. Globerman is right on target. Bravo to him for stating the facts about President Trump. All we seem to read and hear from the media is Trump bashing.

Therefore, it’s quite refreshing to read about ...