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Best Selling Fiction from ​Sand Hill Review Press
Best Selling Fiction from ​Sand Hill Review Press

Although always a writer, Ms. Burns began to concentrate on creative fiction with a short story that won a prize at the 2000 Mendocino Coast Writers Conference. Before that, she had written and performed poetry in various San Francisco cafes. In 2004, she was an invited participant at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers conference in Lake Tahoe, California. In July

2005, her short story “The Sound of Dreaming” won the JerryJazzMusician Short Fiction contest, and is featured on their website ( In December 2005, her short story “Learning to Fly” won first place in the 15th Dame Lisbet Throckmorton short fiction contest, at Ms. Burns was born in Chicago, Illinois and attended
Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, where she earned both Bachelors and Masters degrees in English, along with a high school teaching certificate. She relocated to San Francisco in 1976 where she now lives with her husband Stuart in the West Portal neighborhood. Ms. Burns has a law degree from Golden Gate University, has been president of her neighborhood association and is active in citywide issues. During most of her working career she was employed as a director of employee communications, public relations and issues management at various San Francisco Bay Area corporations, was an editor and manager of the
Books on Tape department for Ignatius Press, and has managed her own communications/PR consulting business, producing written communications, websites and video productions for numerous corporate and non-profit clients.

Ms. Burns may be contacted by email at

Sand Hill Review Press

Historical Fiction Author

Mary F. Burns

New Interview by the Historical Novel Society click here

The author of Portraits of an Artist (to be published by The Sand Hill Review Press in February 2013) is a member of and book reviewer for the Historical Novel Society and a member of the HNS Conference board of directors. Her debut historical novel J-The Woman Who Wrote the Bible was published in July 2010 by O-Books (John Hunt Publishers, UK). She has also written two cozy-village mysteries in a series titled The West Portal Mysteries (The Lucky Dog Lottery and The Tarot Card Murders) which take place in an old-fashioned neighborhood of San Francisco, and feature amateur detective Cynthia Montrose and her lovable English bulldogs Roscoe and Kiwi. Portraits of an Artist, a novel about John Singer Sargent was her next book, to be closely followed by Issac and Ishmael, A Novel of Genesis. (Fall, 2014)