Emilie Christie Burack grew up in the mountains of northern New Hampshire and has a degree in International Relations from Mount Holyoke College. Years ago, she discovered a set of brittle cassette tapes in a shoebox in the back of her father’s closet on which her late grandfather had recorded his family’s history. When she learned her ancestor had come to New York from the islands “where they had little ponies with long hair,” she had to know more. She has since traveled extensively in the Shetland Islands to research its history and unique Norse-Scots culture.
Emilie loves speaking with students and aspiring authors about how she wrote her debut novel The Runaway’s Gold (Abrams/Amulet Books, May 2015). She thinks writing historical fiction is about as close to time travel as a person can get and works to inspire writers to use primary sources to discover the unique, human details of another time and place. Whether it’s the smell of whale oil burning, the clip-clop of hooves on cobblestones, or the tight grip of a calloused palm, it’s the personal observations from days gone by that make believable dialogue and lovable characters.
After a career that took her to New York, Cincinnati, and back to New York again, Emilie now writes and resides, with her husband and two children, off a bumpy dirt road in Hopkinton, NH.