M.H. Herlong grew up in a small town in South Carolina where the only sailing was in books. This suited her perfectly as reading—and writing—were always her first loves. At the College of William and Mary, M.H. took her first real sail on the Chesapeake Bay with her future husband. There she also met and studied under novelist Stephen Marlowe, who became her lifelong friend and mentor. After college, M.H. and her husband moved to Florida where they served as captain and crew of the Sonshine, a Morgan Out Island 41, and lived aboard Arawak, a Morgan 35 that became the basis for Chrysalis. Since that time, M.H. has taught high school English, gone to law school, practiced and taught law, sailed in the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands, had four boys, and begun graduate school. As a resident of New Orleans, she has also shared with all other New Orleanians the tragedy and triumph of watching with the world as her home city flooded, staggered from the blow, and began the long, communal process of recovery. Not long ago as she crossed Lake Ponchartrain on the Katrina-battered bridge, she looked out and saw a white sloop sailing toward her. She knew it was Ben and his family, but then they tacked away and were gone again to continue living—as they always had before—in the hold of her imagination.
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