Shelf Life: Kerriann Flanagan Brosky on Sharing Long Island History

Huntington resident Kerriann Flanagan Brosky is a many-titled woman. In addition to being an author, she is also a photographer, Long Island historian, foodie, and ghost investigator. 

While studying for her BFA in photography from Long Island University, Brosky became a photo intern for Newsday. After graduation, she moved to Huntington and continued to work for Long Island papers as both a photographer and writer. “I took an interest in the local history of the town,” Brosky said. “I started my own column about Huntington’s history, which led me to write to book.” On top of her writing pursuits, Brosky also became first vice president for the Huntington Historical Society, holding the position for six years. 

As Brosky’s love of photography, writing, and history drew together, another passion entered the picture: ghosts. “When you’re researching older homes and places, there is often a ghost story that comes with it,” Brosky said of her early historical research. These ghost stories awed her readers. The Huntington Historical Society took note, and asked Brosky to give a ghost lecture in the Conklin barn around Halloween. “I couldn’t believe how many people were interested in the topic,” Brosky said. “It was a standing-room-only crowd.” 

Members of this crowd, and other crowds of future events, encouraged Brosky to write a book of Long Island ghost stories. At first, the author was hesitant. “It was definitely something I was interested in, but I wanted to be taken seriously as both an author and as a historian,” Brosky said. “I didn’t want to be labeled as a ghost buster.” 

So Brosky put the book’s idea on the back burner until 2005, when she met paranormal investigator and medium Joe Giaquinto. “What we do is very different from what you see on TV or in the movies. We take a very positive and spiritual approach to things,” Brosky said of the pair’s work together. Brosky and Giaquinto’s investigations and writing continued to weave in facts of times past. As Brosky said, “What better way to teach local history than through a ghost story?”

Though her love of food might seem displaced among her other pursuits, Brosky says writing led her to the chef’s table. She co-wrote the cookbook Delectable Italian Dishes for Family and Friends with Sal Baldanza, of Mr. Sausage in Huntington. She then wrote for Edible Long Island magazine, gaining her own column, called “Kerriann Eats.” 

“My love for cooking carried over into my novel, The Medal,” Brosky said of her first fiction work. The novel’s main character is a pastry chef and owner of a bakery in Northport—modeled after Copenhagen Bakery. “Food is a big part of my world.”

In everything she writes, Brosky hopes her reach extends to locals and those beyond Long Island. “I would like my readers to take away a better understanding and appreciation for our history on Long Island in the hopes of preserving it,” she said.

More about Brosky, her books, and events can be found on her websiteFacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

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