This is a website devoted to finding books for book groups for the readers who visit this site, and for talking writing and publishing for the writers who peruse these pages. On my blog, I write many book reviews, and I give bookclub recommendations and bookclub suggestions.



I am an author who lives in Washington DC. I have been writing fiction for eight years, completing two historical novels and beginning two more. I am currently enrolled in Lesley University’s MFA program in Creative Writing. I plan to graduate in June 2015.

I started writing novels by accident, because I had a class assignment to fulfill. But once I’d started, I couldn’t stop. I write historical novels because I’ve loved reading them all my life. When I was a child, I would lie on my bed reading Jean Plaidy’s novels about the Tudors, or Georgette Heyer’s novels about Regency England.  In reading these novels, I was struck by how different the lives of women were in the past from the way they are today.

My professional life has been multifarious and challenging. I have a PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Maryland, and have done research in cognition and perception. I’ve also been a violinist, a science writer, and a medical writer. I bring to my novels these varied experiences, as well as an old-fashioned sensibility and respect for the past.


Name: Cynthia Sally Haggard

Birthday: November 3rd

Favorite Color: Teal

Favorite Book: War & Peace

Favorite Movie: The King’s Speech

Favorite Food: Duck

Favorite Quote: Tomorrow is another day

Favorite Composer: Beethoven, wonderful for raising your spirits, with enough energy & impatience in his music to make you think you’ve just drunk a cup of strong espresso.


I grew up in the London suburbs. I was born in Surbiton Surrey, and grew up in Esher. I attended Tiffin Girls’ School in Kingston-upon-Thames. I came to the US when I was 21, living first in Annapolis MD, and latterly in Washington DC.

I have had many lives.

I started playing violin when I was three years old, because my mother was a violin teacher who wanted to see if it was possible for a 3-year-old to play violin.

I trained professionally for many years, going to the Saturday morning school at the Royal College of Music and then attending the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. My novel AN UNSUITABLE SUITOR is based upon the true story of one of my violin teachers, who went to study in Berlin in the 1920s.

When I was 25 years old, I decided that I would prefer to do something more practical with my life, and I became a scientist. I worked as a bench scientist for 15 years, studying neuroscience and cognitive science. I won a prize for my dissertation, and obtained a post-doc at Naval Research Lab in Anacostia, Washington DC.

After that, I got into science writing, and latterly writing about cutting edge research in medicine. In making the transition from academic to writer, I discovered fiction writing. At my first day in an Introduction to the Novel class, the Stegner fellow who was teaching it informed us that we had to come up with the first five pages of our next novel. Ever the good student, I obediently complied. I have never looked back.

Please note: (c)  2015, Cynthia Haggard.  All rights reserved. No reproduction, electronically or in any kind of print, without express written permission of the author.  That means the entire blog is under copyright.  If you want to reprint an article, I almost always say “yes”, but please ask. There are some conditions. Contact me at cynthia [at] spunstories [dot] com.

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