I am the eldest daughter of an alcoholic family and was raised in a blue-collar neighborhood in West Springfield, Massachusetts. I wrote My Townie Heart as a way of coming to terms with where I am from and to expose what a lie it is, when we are told that class doesn't matter.
My coming of age was harsh and full of contradictions that would take me many years to understand. I lacked confidence and stability but was full of an almost preternatural drive towards something, I just didn't know what. In and out of college for many years, I waitressed, cleaned houses and made various forays into the counterculture until I moved to New Mexico and discovered journalism.
I settled in Washington, D.C. where I spent nearly thirty years working in TV news and nonfiction television production. I currently live in New York City and work as a senior executive producer for Investigation Discovery, a crime channel. I am also a grateful member of St. Marks in the Bowery, an Episcopal church in the East Village.
Laura DiStefano is torn between dreams of a new counter-cultural life and the undertow of a dysfunctional family.
Laura DiStefano has flunked out of the University of Massachusetts just as the counterculture reaches its peak in the 1970s.
Reluctantly, Laura returns to live back home with her parents and sister in the blue collar town she so hoped to escape. But she soon learns that her sister, a fierce survivor of a childhood attack who has rather foolishly gotten pregnant, needs Laura’s help when she unexpectedly falls for a local guy.
Even though the school offers to reinstate Laura’s scholarship, leaving home again suddenly gets harder. As the conflicts in her threaten to drag her under, Laura becomes agoraphobic. How can she reconcile her divided loyalties and find her genuine life?