My tribute to a publishing heroine: Hazel Gaynor, author of THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME

The Girl Who Came HomeAbout six months ago, when I was trying to figure out this whole publishing thing, I connected with a brilliant and wonderful author by the name of Hazel Gaynor. To an aspiring author, she was a beacon of hope and kindness in a world of locked doors.

By that time, her self-published e-book, The Girl Who Came Home, had sold nearly 100,000 copies and gone on to secure a re-publishing deal (plus an additional title) from William Morrow.

To me, she was living proof that an author with a good book and a dedicated work ethic would eventually find success. There may only be one Promised Land, but there are countless ways to get there.

Hazel GaynorWhen I reached out to her for advice with Desperately Ever After last fall, she could have easily glossed over my questions or sent me an indifferent, “Just keep at it!” But she didn’t. She took the time to answer all of my questions in-depth; she asked about my life and told me about hers; she put me in touch the brilliant Andrew Brown of Design for Writers; she introduced me to Catherine Ryan Howard‘s invaluable guidebook, Self-Printed; she offered to be my second-ever author interview on Skipping Midnight (after the also wonderful Heather Webb); and she has continued to support me in this brand new life that I’m determined to make work.

Hazel was the first of many writers I’ve since met who’ve completely disproved the notion that this industry is filled with cutthroat, uber-competitive people who are only out for themselves.

This past Tuesday, William Morrow released the “new and improved” edition of The Girl Who Came Home. Below are the Amazon summary and link. I just purchased my paperback copy (the original is on my Kindle), and hope you’ll consider doing the same. 



Inspired by true events, The Girl Who Came Home is the poignant story of a group of Irish emigrants aboard RMS Titanic—a seamless blend of fact and fiction that explores the tragedy’s impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants.

Ireland, 1912. Fourteen members of a small village set sail on RMS Titanic, hoping to find a better life in America. For seventeen-year-old Maggie Murphy, the journey is bittersweet. Though her future lies in an unknown new place, her heart remains in Ireland with Séamus, the sweetheart she left behind. When disaster strikes, Maggie is one of the lucky few passengers in steerage who survives. Waking up alone in a New York hospital, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that terrible night ever again.

Chicago, 1982. Adrift after the death of her father, Grace Butler struggles to decide what comes next. When her Great Nana Maggie shares the painful secret she harbored for almost a lifetime about the Titanic, the revelation gives Grace new direction—and leads her and Maggie to unexpected reunions with those they thought lost long ago.

To read the opening pages or to purchase your own, click here.


Click here for information about borrowing a free e-copy of Desperately Ever After (Amazon Prime members) or purchasing the paperback at a discount.






Filed under Desperately Ever After, Writing Process

3 responses to “My tribute to a publishing heroine: Hazel Gaynor, author of THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME

  1. Hazel Gaynor own stir is just as moving as Maggie Murphy’s (albeit Hazel wasn’t on board the Titanic) . The Girl Who Came Home is now another must read for me. You are truly blessed to have Ms. Gaynor’s support and you wrote a beautiful tribute to her. Thank you for introducing me to her work.

  2. I remember reading somewhere about this book. It’s on my Amazon “wish list”, though I admit it will be a long while before I will get to enjoy this title! Sounds like an amazing book written by an amazing woman 🙂

  3. It’s nice to know that many people remain kind. I will add this book to my reading list:)

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