Her 1st Novel at 70 Is All About Rum Raisin and Romance

An open book on the beach with a heart light in the middle
Image via iStock.

Harriet Fry, a 1995 alumna of Neumann University, decided it was time to try her hand at fiction writing.

After decades of writing non-fiction, Harriet Fry started with a fictional short story that soon took on a life of its own, culminating in the novel Rum Raisin Rendezvous, about a breezy summer romance set in Miami.

The story follows Mattie Bryant, a young woman who is dissatisfied with her life and decides to make changes. She ditches her commitment-shy fiancé and quits her teaching job to take on ownership of a popular ice cream parlor on the shore of Biscayne Bay.

Like her shop that attracts new customers when it adds rum raisin ice cream to the menu, Mattie blossoms when she adds new flavors to her life.

“The novel is pure fiction,” says Fry, who lives in Conshohocken. “Unlike my protagonist, I spent 14 years as a special education teacher in Philadelphia, and I loved my job.”

Harriet Fry

It was the COVID-19 lockdown that pushed the retired 70-year-old to give fiction a try.

“Watch TV all day? No, thank you. So, I came up with a light, easy-to-read, beach book idea and started writing.”

She went through two rewrites to refine the character and plot, then sent query letters to publishers.

Blossom Spring Publishing, based in Manchester, England, responded positively, and the novel was published in March of 2022.

Fry has been freelance writing since 1978 and has written non-fiction for a variety of magazines and trade publications.

She found her niche writing human interest stories, essays, and op-ed pieces for City Paper and the South Philadelphia Review.

Fry holds a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies (1995) from Neumann and a master’s degree in Education (2003) from Temple University. She served on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference for more than 20 years and was its president for a term in the early 2000s.

Rum Raisin Rendezvous is available on Amazon (Amazon.com : rum raisin rendezvous).

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