Serendipity – Rosemary McKinley

A funny thing happened to me while I was promoting my book, The Wampum Exchange. It’s a Young Adult novella depicting life in 1650, America, specifically the East End of Long Island, New York. Daniel, a twelve-year-old boy, has a chance meeting with a Native American youngster and their lives change in an interesting way. Readers learn how farming for both communities was so important and how differently they lived in other ways.

At a book presentation at the local Historical Society, a man who works as an entertainer suggested that I contact a local farm owner who was always interested in local history. I did a book signing there at Harbes Family Farms in Mattituck, Long Island. The owner read my book and offered me a job as a Long Island historian working with school children during field trips!

I come in costume and talk about how people farmed and made almost everything they needed. I show drawings of English style homes and wigwams. I pass around shells that were made into wampum. The setting is perfect because the children are surrounded by fields of corn, vegetables and farm animals.

This position has been both fun and rewarding. The income I earn is used for book promotions and I am showing my novella every day that I am presenting to school children and teachers. What a great way to learn history and promote my book at the same time!

Rosemary McKinley began writing to both entertain and inspire others. Her book, 101 Glimpses of the North Fork and Islands was released in 2009 by History Press. Her short stories, essays and poems have been published online by the Visiting Nurse Association of Long Island and in Lucidity, LI Sounds, Clarity,, Peconic Bay Shopper, Fate Magazine, Examination Anthology, Wormwood Press, Newsday, and The Poet’s Arts. Her Y/A historical novella, The Wampum Exchange, can be found on and B&N.


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