Interview,  Writer's Life

The Origins of The Case Of The Missing Monarch

Life became pretty lonely when the pandemic lockdown began in March 2020. But the birds began arriving a few weeks later, and escape to the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge became my sanctuary and link to the outside world. I teamed up with a fellow birder who remained as diligent as I about masking and social distancing. The Case of the Missing Monarch started out as a serial sent to a select two to lift all our spirits, and document some of our nature adventures at the Refuge. I added a murder mystery plot and a couple of interesting leading characters who go to a lot of trouble to find a missing Romanian royal heir.

Realizing how important the Refuge had become for me, I decided I needed to give something back. I enlisted my fellow birder and photographer  to help illustrate the story with photos from Cherry Valley and the surrounding Poconos. Those familiar with the area will recognize the spots those photos were taken and the places that play a role in the plot. Generous people donated their own photographs, and got incorporated in the storyline. All profits from the book go the Friends of Cherry Valley, a citizen’s support group for the Refuge. Although ebook copies can only be found on, the paperback can be picked up at the gift shop at Kettle Creek Environmental Center for $20 {the advantage of leaving out the middleman, Amazon Kindle}. Printing seventy full-color photos is expensive. But still, $4 from each sale goes directly to Friends of CV to help maintain the Refuge.


The following video is an interview between me and Friends Vice President Elizabeth Cortright. It will give you a bit more insight into how The Case of the Missing Monarch came into existence, and the bounties of nature available to everyone at the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Monroe County, Pennsylvania.


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