Mary Burns’ varied writing experience includes more than twenty years in business and agency public relations and communications, including video scripts, radio commercials, annual reports, newsletters and executive speeches.  She managed the media coverage of the 1987 visit of Pope John Paul II to San Francisco, and was the producer of a local television morning talk show, Body and Soul.  She has run her own consulting business twice, alternating with corporate positions, and is currently pursuing several writing projects.

Her creative fiction writing began with a short story that won a prize at the 2000 Mendocino (California) Coast Writers Conference.  Two other short stories garnered first places (see them at and She was an invited participant at the 2004 Squaw Valley Community of Writers conference in Lake Tahoe, California. Her first historical novel titled J-THE WOMAN WHO WROTE THE BIBLE, was published in July 2010 by O-Books Publishers, UK.

Her second historical novel PORTRAITS OF AN ARTIST is about the 19th century painter John Singer Sargent, published by The Sand Hill Review Press, July 2013. She has since started an historical mystery series with amateur sleuths John Singer Sargent and his childhood friend, Violet Paget (aka writer Vernon Lee). The Spoils of Avalon, a dual-time-period historical mystery, was published in November, 2014, by The Sand Hill Review Press, and has been re-published in 2019 by Word by Word Press, an independent publishing enterprise started by Mary Burns to present and manage carefully curated, literary works by colleagues who write out of the mainstream, as well as to provide a publishing venue for her own books. A second mystery, The Love of Three Oranges, is expected to appear in February 2019.

Ms. Burns was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in the western suburb of LaGrange. She attended Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, where she earned both Bachelors and Masters degrees in English, along with a high school teaching certificate.  She left Illinois in 1976 and headed straight to San Francisco, where she now lives with her husband in the West Portal neighborhood.  Ms. Burns has a law degree from Golden Gate University, has served as president of her neighborhood association and loves to make stained glass windows and play the piano.