You may recognize the setting of Hamilton author’s suspense novel

For most of her life, Hamilton resident Mary Ferris felt she was called to be a writer.

With the publishing of her first book, a suspense novel, that dream has now come true. And readers may notice some places that sound familiar in the book’s setting.

Ferris’ book “Changing Seasons” takes place in a small fictional Midwest town called Arbor, Ohio, which is actually a combination of Hamilton and Oxford, according to the author.

“The story is about a woman in her 30s who is trying to get the murder case of her childhood friend reopened without realizing that the killer has returned to town and is stalking her,” she said. “I like a strong female character with empowerment and who has good reasoning skills and can take care of her own.”

Ferris explained that the heroine in her novel — Anna Rogers — is a photographer in Arbor, who thinks something is suspicious after a series of murders stopped years ago, but now have started again and appear to be identical.

“Anna has her own demons she is battling, but she wants to get the case reopened,” Ferris said. “She is determined and very brave.”

Ferris was born at Fort Hamilton Hospital and grew up in Oxford. She left town for about six or seven years before moving back and settling in Hamilton in 1997.

“I went to Miami University and graduated with a degree in sociology — the study of people,” the newly-published author said with a laugh.

She said her joy of being around people and cracking a good book led her into writing.

“I enjoy reading and that got me into writing,” Ferris said. “Writing was on my bucket list. ‘What does it take to write a novel?’ I always wondered. Talking to mutual friends about the business, networking and talking to people at Miami helped. Plus, I was always surrounded by people who loved writing.”

Her father, John Huntington was a professor at Miami who taught educational psychology at the graduate level. Her mother Jackie also retired from the university and they both still live in Oxford.

“My father wrote when he was teaching and I learned quite a bit from him about writing,” Ferris said.

She added that the joy of publishing her first novel is hard to put into words and she is happy to have Hamilton and Oxford references in the book.

“There are little hidden treasures around Hamilton, Oxford and even in Cincinnati that are in the book,” Ferris said. “People who live here will be able to pick them out.”

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