A Sense of Personal Satisfaction
By Rachel Barks
Heather Darsie, an attorney by day and author by night, follows her passion of law and writing day in and day out. She recently moved back into prosecution in Dekalb County and is Committee Co-Chair for the Will County Bar Association. As an author, she has published two nonfiction books and one novella, and along with regular updates to her blog Maidens and Manuscripts.
Daisie’s nonfiction books are centered around the history of Anna of Cleves, Queen of England in 1540. She is widely credited with bringing forth the “hidden” portrait of Anna of Cleves that is on the cover of Anna, Duchess of Cleves: The King’s Beloved Sister, correcting her date of birth, and explaining her life.
Recognized as one of the world’s experts Anna of Cleves, Darsie discovered her passion for history through her father and began diving deeper into the subject in 2010, leading her to where she is today.
“Another way to think about it, because I have to use my legal skills when writing the first book, was that I was Anna of Cleves’ attorney. I just showed up about 450 years late,” Darsie said.
Darsie explains that the research, writing, and critical thinking skills she uses in law aid her in her writing and research and vice versa. After days of long prosecution cases, she found solace in writing and the joy and satisfaction that came with the research.
“We have to be very careful, very precise, and very dedicated to the practice of law,” Darsie said. “Be careful to make sure that you have other things to which you can look for your personal sense of satisfaction, because it can be tricky to find that with just your job.”
Being an attorney and an author is a full plate, but Darsie makes it work by keeping a balanced schedule and continuously making it a priority to take care of herself physically and mentally at the same time.
“People like my writing, they like what I’m writing about. Because of that outlet, I can have that separation and recognize that having a bad day at work doesn’t mean that Heather is bad, it just means that the job is hard,” Darsie added.
Darsie’s second nonfiction book Children of the House of Cleves: Anna and Her Siblings was released in the US on September 12th. Seen as a companion book to her first book, this is the first book ever to look into Anna of Cleves siblings and their interactions with the Holy Roman Empire, England, and France. She also has a third book set to come out in late 2024 titled Stuart Spouses: A Compendium of Consorts from James I of Scotland to Queen Anne of Great Britain.
Darsie’s favorite quote from literary figure Henry David Thoreau stands out to her in her life’s passion and work of writing and law:
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
To find out more about her writing, read her blog pieces, and stay up to date with future releases, visit Maidens and Manuscripts.
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