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My Family’s Antique Shop: Where it all began

The inspiration for Madeline’s antique shop in Sea Magic came from my grandmother, Mimi, who managed Trading Post Antiques in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. This shop has been my family for three generations. This old stone building dates back to the eighteenth century, when it was a real trading post.

My grandparents lived in the rooms above the shop which is where my mom grew up. As a kid, I loved to walk through the store and check out all the antiques that held so much history. I tried to imagine who owned the item, and what their lives had been like. It gave me a unique perspective on death and the persistent drumbeat of time.

Mimi was an expert with antiques. She could look at an item and tell you the time period and estimated value. My grandfather repaired antique lamps in the back room of the shop after he retired from his iron art business.

Ironically, Mimi played a pivotal role in my decision to become a writer. In college, I wrote a paper about her for my English class. The professor read it out loud to the class and urged me to switch majors to English, which I did. From then on, a seed had been planted deep inside, and the rest is history!

After my grandparents died, my mom took over the shop and has been managing it for the past twenty years. But it’s time for her to retire, so she and my aunt have sold the building. Even though I know this is the right choice, it breaks my heart. My husband and I will fly to New Jersey to help Mom move out at the end of June.

I’m glad I’ve been able to memorialize life in an antique shop in Sea Magic and in the rest of the novels in my series. Time marches on, but the love we share, and these special memories, linger.





Heidi McIntyre

I’ve always been a dreamer, and I write to share my dreams

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