Alyssa Maxwell knew from an early age that she wanted to be a novelist. Growing up in New England and traveling to Great Britain fueled a passion for history, while a love of puzzles drew her to the mystery genre. She is the author of The Gilded Newport Mysteries and A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mysteries. She and her husband reside in Florida, where she is a member of the Mystery Writers of America-Florida Chapter and the Florida Romance Writers.
Alyssa is available for speaking engagements in the South Florida area, and occasionally elsewhere as well. She'd be delighted to address book clubs and take part in writers seminars and library events, etc. Please contact her at alyssamaxwellauthor(@)gmail(dot)com or use the form on her contact page.
Member: Mystery Writers of America; Sisters in Crime; Novelists, Inc.; Romance Writers of America
Represented by The Evan Marshall Agency
Alyssa's Connections to Newport, RI:
Alyssa Maxwell began a love affair with the city of Newport while visiting friends there back in her high school days. Time and again the narrow lanes and harbor‑side, gas‑lit neighborhoods drew her to return, and on one of those later visits she met the man who would become her husband. Always a lover of history, Alyssa found that marrying into a large, generations‑old Newport family opened up an exciting new world of historical discovery. From the graveyards whose earliest markers read from the seventeenth century, to original colonial houses still lived in today, to the Newport Artillery Company whose curator for many years was her husband’s grandfather, Newport became a place of fascination and romantic charm. Today, Maxwell and her husband reside beneath the palms and bright skies of Florida, but part of her heart remains firmly in that small New England city of great significance, a microcosm of American history spanning from before the Revolution through the Civil War, the Industrial Age, the Gilded Age, and beyond.
Alyssa's Tips for Visiting Newport:
1. If you plan to tour the mansions, consider joining the Preservation Society of Newport County. It's $55 for one, $80 for a couple. All mansion tours are free to members! And do plan to see the smaller properties, such as Hunter House, Chateau sur Mer and the Isaac Bell house. These are every bit as delightful as the larger houses, and filled with charming and significant architectural details. Website: http://www.newportmansions.org/
2. Don't miss Rough Point! It's owned by the Newport Restoration Foundation and located at the south end of Bellevue Avenue. Aptly named, the house was home to Frederick and Louise Vanderbilt and, later, tobacco heiress Doris Duke. The tour is fascinating!
3. Walk a block up from Thames Street for some less crowded historical ambiance, and visit Spring Street Books for a personal book store experience. They carry a fabulous collection of books about Newport, new and used books, and The Gilded Newport Mysteries. :-)
4. Try "the other Cliff Walk", Sachuest Point, out past Second Beach. Go early and wear sunscreen. Take the ocean view loop. The views are breathtaking and you'll see some unspoiled New England coastline.
5. See it from the water! Take a cruise excursion around the bay and Newport Harbor. There are several different Newport Harbor tours, and some are discounted if you're a Preservation Society member. Check the website!
6. Coffee (especially just post sunset) at the Coffee Grinder at the end of Bannister's Wharf. Great coffee, yummy baked goods, fabulous view. They've got rows of Adirondack chairs set up facing the water and the boats. (if you go right at sunset you might have the sun too much in your eyes.)
7. Never never leave. Until winter sets in, that is. Then hightail it outta there as quick as you can. (hey, you're getting these tips from a Floridian.)
Excited to be signing at the Mansions Gift Shop on Bannisters Wharf in Newport
Outside Chateau sur Mer
Photo credit: Erin Manuel
Click to listen to my interview on Writing Fun, where I talk about my series, my writing process, and, of course, Newport!
In my latest interview with Writing Fun, Michelle and I discuss Murder at Ochre Court!
More about Alyssa...
I live in Florida, and I love chilly days at the beach, riding my bike to the farmer's market, and exploring our beautiful parks through cypress swamps and Everglades trails...
But as I'm sure you've already guesed, Newport is our home away from home and is always close to our hearts. Here are some fun moments from our latest trip.
I was honored to participate in the 2014 University of Central Florida's Book Festival. The weekend kicked off with a lovely cocktail party for the authors, booksellers, staff and sponsors. I was absolutely thrilled to meet Mike Farrell, who played B.J. Hunnicutt in the TV series MASH. He was there to speak about and sign his memoir, Just Call me Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist.