Adrienne Morris, a longtime New Milford resident, published her first novel, The House on Tenafly Road, in 2013 and was recognized as an Editor’s Choice by the Historical Novel Society.
Morris, a graduate of the New Milford School District, took time to answer a few questions about growing up in New Milford, pride in community and her writing process.
Patch: Is this your first novel?
Morris: This is my first novel but I fell so in love with the characters that I’ve written three manuscripts to continue the story in a series.
Patch: How did growing up in New Milford influence your writing style?
Morris: I attended BF Gibbs during the bicentennial celebrations and remember in 4th grade dipping bayberry-scented candles the way they did in colonial times and was hooked. At a very young age I was upset that New Milford let her historic homes be moved. I loved the French cemetery, the Demarest house and that not too long ago New Milford had farms.
Patch: How much time did you spend writing the novel?
Morris: Once I realized that Katherine Weldon’s Civil War veteran husband was addicted to morphine the story wrote itself—in about two years. I did tons of research and the two years flew by. It took much longer trying to figure out what needed to be cut out. It’s a big page turner.
Patch: How does it feel to have your first work, a historical novel, recognized by the Historical Novel Society?
Morris: Like many first time novelists, I was timid to put the work out (even as I wanted other people to love my characters). When I heard that I’d been picked I was over the moon. It’s always nice when people you know enjoy your work, but having an extremely well-read and respected published writer love the book and review it was extremely gratifying. I read the review a million times
Patch: How does it feel to know that as a writer from New Jersey, who wrote about New Jersey, you could influence students and young writers from the area?
Morris: First off, I’m extremely proud to be from NJ—probably more so because the state is so often abused. New Jersey people are great! I’ve taught in Englewood, Hoboken and Jersey City and have complete confidence in the talent of New Jersey kids. I think the big thing I’d like NMHS kids and aspiring writers of all ages to know is that you don’t need permission to write a story. There’s no big day when the gates open and the writing police let you in. Everyone’s story has merit.