Harold William Thorpe

Stories of our Grandparents. Stories for our Grandchildren.

O'Shaughnessy Chronicles. A heartwarming series that celebrates family, community, and never giving up your dreams.

This 4-book series by Wisconsin author Harold William Thorpe is an “epic tale of a bygone era.”  In turns riveting and wistful, the books tell the story of the O’Shaughnessy family pursuing their dreams and overcoming adversities with determination and grace.

Inspired by the authors’ own family, the series incorporates real people and places of southwestern rural Wisconsin against a backdrop of 20th century history.

In the first two books of The O’Shaughnessy Chronicles, readers get to know Will and his beloved wife, Mary, as they raise their family in the boom times of the 1920s and the struggles of the Great Depression. The third book, Puppet on a String (available September 10) continues the tale of the O’Shaughnessy family with a focus on the younger generation.

An award-winning, heartwarming family saga with charming cast of characters that readers will love.

>> More about these books <<    >> How to order <<

Puppet on a String

The 3rd book in the O’Shaughnessy Chronicles is now available!

Catherine is Ruby’s puppet, but she’s willing to let her sister pull her strings because it often leads to excitement and adventure. It’s not until Catherine grows up and begins dating the dashing Jonathon Hays, over Ruby’s vehement objections, that the puppet’s strings begin to fray.

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Puppet on a String Book Signing: Many Thanks

Puppet on a String Book Signing: Many Thanks

On Sept 29th I held a book signing for my latest release: Puppet on a String at the Mineral Point Collection. I always love returning to Mineral Point, the location of my first O’Shaughnessy book, Giddyap Tin Lizzie. Catherine Whitford provided the building and table...

Real Life Characters

The O’Shaughnessy Chronicles are a fictionalized account of author Harold William Thorpe’s family history. The Good Friends Storybooks are written for his grandchildren and are also inspired by real people and events. Meet some of the real life people who inspired the characters in Harold’s books.

Write Your Family Story Series

Think your family history might be interesting enough to be the basis of a historical novel? In the Write Your Family Story series, Harold William Thorpe, who turned his mother’s memoir into novels based on his family history in rural, Wisconsin, shares how to begin.

Write Your Family Story – Part 1: Recording your family’s history may have unexpected effects

In Part One of the Write Your Family Story series, Harold Thorpe explores how recording your family’s history may have unexpected effects.

Write Your Family Story – Part 2: Fiction vs Non-fiction

One of the first decisions you must make when writing your family story? Fiction or Non-fiction.

Write Your Family Story – Part 3: Your Goals and Active Verbs

Readers like stories that move. Make your family story more compelling with the help of that most useful fellow — the active verb.

Write Your Family Story – Part 4: Details, Details

Most family stories are told and written in simple narrative style. You need details to flesh out the story and make it come alive.

Write Your Family Story – Part 5: Tension

The ebb and flow of suspense in a novel is what keeps readers turning pages to the end. Tension is a must in a story. How do you create it and keep it going?

Write Your Family Story – Part 6: Essential Choices

If you decide to tell your story by writing it as family fiction, you’ve got choices to make. Many of these choices should precede your narrative summary writing.

Write Your Family Story – Part 7: Immediate Scenes

In part 7 of the series I demonstrate how a technique called “immediate scene” can breathe life into your family fiction story.

Social Media

Join me on social media for photos, links, articles and resources related to Wisconsin history and family fiction.

Book Clubs

These free book questions can help get the discussion flowing at your next meeting.

Chapter Downloads

Did you know you can download a chapter for any of my books for free? Give them a try before you buy.

Where to buy

These books are available through Amazon, publisher Little Creek Press, and many local bookstores.

About the Author

Harold William Thorpe grew up in southwest Wisconsin and spent many happy hours at his and his relatives’ farms. It wasn’t until retirement that he decided to fictionalize his mother’s memoirs. The result is the award winning O’Shaughnessy Chronicles. In addition he has written 4 children’s books, one for each of his grandchildren: The Good Friends Storybooks.

The O’Shaughnessy Chronicles

Based on Harold Thorpe’s own family history, the O’Shaughnessy Chronicles are a series of books set in Iowa County, Wisconsin in the early-to-mid 20th Century. Read on for synopses, reviews, outtakes, book club questions and to download free chapters.

Good Friends Storybooks

The first 3 Good Friends Storybooks are books for elementary school children that mix adventure, quirky talking animals, gentle lessons about friendship, and Wisconsin history.

The beautiful Wisconsin photography used in the banners and background, and on social media are by Terry McNeil. See more of Terry’s work on his Capture Wisconsin profile