I grew up in the Midwest. After earning a B.A. in literature, I did a stint as the editor of a monthly publication for women’s retailers. The job took me around the country—Dallas, Chicago, Boston—and introduced me to many delightful people. I interviewed industry bigwigs, gave seminars, and wrote several hundred articles about fashion retail. It was a great opportunity, but it wasn’t my dream, so I loaded everything into my VW Bug and—against famed editor Horace Greeley’s advice—headed east to Massachusetts, where I kept a (small) roof over my head writing anything and everything. Cover stories, profiles, how-to articles, news features, essays, and theater reviews. (Click here to read two of my articles).
Somewhere in there, I managed to have two kids, earn a M.Ed., teach first grade, and edit several series of college textbooks in psychology and sociology.
Through it all, I wrote fiction. I have always been writing fiction since I penned my first short story “How the Zebra Got His Stripes” at age seven. (This deathless prose still resides in my attic somewhere.) I went on to write reams of comic adventure fantasy in fourth grade because the stories made my friend Lisa’s mother laugh out loud and she always asked for more. Writers love their readers.
In recent years, I’ve had the good luck to be writing fiction full time. The research for my World War II thriller, The Sticking Place, took me to many fascinating spots—Bletchley Park, Churchill’s famous bunker (the Cabinet War Rooms), and the American Bar at the elegant Savoy Hotel, among them—and introduced me to a variety of experts, like the man who helped me calculate the rate of fall for a parachutist dropped over occupied France in 1944. You can read a teaser here.
While revising The Sticking Place, I published short stories in The Barcelona Review, The Alembic and, most recently, The Carolina Quarterly (links to these stories can be found here). The (relative) ease of writing short fiction leaves me giddy. Without those annoying 300 middle pages, by the time you start, you’re almost done.
I also completed another novel, How Did We Get Here?, the structure of which owes a debt to Kierkegaard’s observation that life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forwards.
Let no one tell you that contemporary fiction does not require research. Not Spitfires and Enigma machines this time, but megatons about Senate and House procedures, Child Protective Services, lawsuits, morgues, and human decomposition under water. Like life, How Did We get Here? is funny, heartbreaking, a wee bit macabre (well, the morgue scenes anyway), and full of surprises. Click here for the teaser.
Despite my light tone and love of a good laugh, I’m quite serious about my fiction. As Gustave Flaubert noted: Writing is a dog’s life, but the only life worth living.