The Medium
December 1, 2007
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Noelle Sickels

Although The Medium is Noelle Sickels’ third historical novel, she never set out to be a historical novelist. In each case, she was seduced by the germ of a compelling story that refused translation into a contemporary setting. She is fascinated by the intricate ways in which large historical events play out in the individual lives of ordinary people. Her previous novels were Walking West and The Shopkeeper’s Wife, and she’s had short stories and poems in numerous anthologies and literary journals.

Ms. Sickels, a resident of Los Angeles, grew up in northern New Jersey, the locale of The Medium. She holds degrees in sociology and in education, which, in hindsight, were sound preparation for the writing of historical novels. She’s been a teacher in many milieus, none of them a traditional classroom. Her students have included migrant workers, emotionally disturbed adolescents, pregnant women, senior citizens, and pre-schoolers and their parents. She isn’t psychic, but she did see a ghost once.

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