About Mallory M. O’Connor
“It’s said that time is a river without banks, a surging flood that eventually sweeps us all away, and what is not fixed is lost. Words are my defense against the flood.”
– Mallory M. O’Connor, Micanopy, Florida
When I was four years old, my mother bought me a Brambach baby grand piano. She wanted me to be a classical musician like my grandfather who was a violinist and a composer. But although I had talent—I later gave piano lessons and was the Principle Organist for an Episcopal Church– I was unwilling to devote five or six hours a day to practicing. And I hated performing. I was happier riding my horse along the American River in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Or writing and illustrating stories about little girls who loved to ride horses.
In 1961, I went to the University of California to study art, married my painting instructor, moved to Mexico and had a baby. In 1965, I moved to Ohio where I received three degrees from Ohio University in Art, American Cultural and Intellectual History, and Art History.
For the next seven years, I taught art history at the University of Florida, and also took classes in Journalism, worked as a staff writer for the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, was a feature writer for Business to Business magazine and published articles in American Indian Art Magazine, The Journal of Popular Culture, Florida Humanities Council Forum Magazine, and the Women’s Art Journal.
I also wrote five novels. In the 1980s, I was represented by two literary agents in New York, but my novels were deemed to be “too feminist” to appeal to general readers.
For ten years I was director of the Thomas Center Gallery, the City of Gainesville’s municipal art gallery, where I organized art exhibits and wrote copy for catalogues, brochures and press releases. Then I taught art history for ten years at Santa Fe College in Gainesville and wrote two art history books that were published by the University Press of Florida.
When I retired from teaching, I returned to writing fiction. I have recently finished American River: Tributaries, the first book of the American River Trilogy. The second book, American River: Currents, and book three, American River: Confluence, are also complete.