M. Diane McCormick found her love of history in her parents’ stories of Pennsylvania’s anthracite region. Her mother’s antique shop at a York County, Pennsylvania, crossroads stocked weird and wonderful things that felt like keys to other eras. She and her husband, Marc Farrell, spend their time prowling pubs and restoring their circa-1910 Harrisburg home, where they sit on the front porch during rainstorms and enjoy their green backyard sanctuary on summer evenings.
Diane walked off the day-job cliff and into freelance writing on Jan. 2, 2005. For TheBurg newspaper in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, she explores city life and issues, winning a 2017 first-place Keystone Press Award. As Harrisburg magazine’s “Adventure Chick,” she handled a python and drove a Ferrari, among other wild and crazy doings. She is a regular contributor to Susquehanna Style and varied industry magazines.
Diane has been a journalist for the Harrisburg Patriot-News/Pennlive.com, where she had a regular column, and the Hanover, Pennsylvania, Evening Sun. She served 10 years as a press secretary in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and is former communications director for the policy advocacy organization Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and master’s degrees from Penn State University in American studies, and from Goucher College in creative nonfiction.
“Nobody lived in the past,” says David McCullough. “They lived in the present. It is their present, not our present, and they don’t know how it’s going to come out.” Diane agrees but couldn’t resist crisscrossing past and present as she wrote Well-Behaved Taverns Seldom Make History. Someday, she will write a history keeping her characters within their realms of understanding, but for now, another McCullough quote explains her approach to her first book: “No harm’s done to history by making it something someone would want to read.”