Copyright Lisa Damico Portraits

Copyright Lisa Damico Portraits

Paula Tarnapol Whitacre 

Lately, some people have called me "Julia" by mistake (must be the five letters ending in an "a"), but that is the subject of my book, not me.

I have worked as a freelance writer and editor for many years. Mostly, I take on projects for organizations and government agencies--web content, articles, reports, with lots on health, the environment, and education. (My company website is here.) With every assignment, I learn something newwhether it's the effects of climate change, how to run a successful healthcare practice, or new trends in education.

My bachelor's and master's degrees are in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University, but, in retrospect, my favorite courses always involved history. It took me a while to come back to that love, but better late than never.

In the meantime, I worked at The Washington Post and as a Foreign Service Officer in Costa Rica. After a year traveling with my husband in Asia, I returned to Washington and worked for a forestry organization and for an environmental education project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. 

When my sons were aged 2 and 6, I made the leap to freelance work and haven't looked back.

How did a New London, Connecticut, native become enmeshed in the Civil War?

When I was growing up, I was fascinated by New London's whaling history and its days as a summer resort that attracted the family of Eugene O'Neill. Since then, I've lived in Alexandria, Virginia, for many years, walking along the brick sidewalks of Old Town, walking along the waterfront, and frequently going across the Potomac to Washington (as did Julia Wilbur). When my parent-related volunteer duties waned, I started volunteering for Alexandria Archaeology.

This project combined my sense of place with my experience as a writer (including meeting deadlines). The rest, as they say, is history.