I write historical fiction derived from my family's history. These stories rest on painstaking documentary and intimate connection. The research fills in the blank spaces of my family tree. The writing connects me with people to whom I am related by blood but from whom I am separated by generations. How did they deal with grief, loss, anger and love? I try to put myself behind their eyes, in the meat-packing plants of Pittsburgh or along the war-torn border between Italy and Austria. By telling their stories, I hope my readers will better understand their own.