Real life characters

The characters in Harold Thorpe’s novels and children’s stories are deeply inspired by real-life people, including his grandchildren, his Iowa County, Wisconsin ancestors and historical Wisconsin figures. In his Real-life characters blog, Harold shares who these people are — or were — and tells how their actual experiences became the basis for his fiction writing.

Sharon O’Shaughnessy

Sharon O’Shaughnessy

In the O’Shaughnessy Chronicles novels, Ruby is the dominant spitfire, Catherine the pensive follower. Sharon, the eldest of the three sisters, is the nurturing mother hen. My Aunt Anne, and her gentle, motherly countenance was the inspiration for Sharon.

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The Grignon Family

The Grignon Family

The Greek Revival-style Grignon Hotel, which still stands on Main Street in Butte des Morts, has at various times been operated not just a hotel, but also as a fur trading post, general store, post office, tavern, and antique store. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

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Wyatt

Wyatt

Wyatt’s Woods is a middle grade chapter book set in Door County, Wisconsin. What does Harold’s ten-year-old grandson, Wyatt, think about being the subject of a book? We asked him that, and some other fun questions.

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Gusta Stephens

Gusta Stephens

Wealthy, intrepid, and rebelliously pushing the bounds of acceptable decorum. That’s Bittersweet Harvest’s Augusta Stephens, the wild Texas cousin whose mother sends her to live for a year with the O’Shaughnessy family in Iowa County, Wisconsin.

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Ruby O’Shaughnessy

Ruby O’Shaughnessy

Many of the characters in the O’Shaughnessy Chronicles are closely based on my own family members. In the novels my mother, Laura Fitzsimons, and her sister, Alice, are respectively Catherine and Ruby O’Shaughnessy.

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