grew up in the Cincinnati suburb of Milford, Ohio and spent my formative years in the cineplex, the mall, the drive-in, and the convertible MG of some guy named Gary. My mother claims I was destined to be a writer. As a kindergartner, I reported that I’d just seen a giraffe, elephant and rhinoceros at the bus stop. When Mom told me I was a good storyteller, I assured her that it was not a story, but the absolute truth!
I wrote for the school newspaper in high school, but never made it into a position of authority – the journalism adviser told me I was "too spasmodic" to be editor. I also starred in drama club plays and hosted excellent cast parties. I earned a scholarship to be a summer foreign exchange student in Japan, then headed off to college at Northwestern University, events that forced me to conclude that there was, in fact, life outside Southwestern Ohio. Why wasn’t I informed? I look back upon my college years in Chicago and marvel that I was able to graduate and still have such a fine time. In 1983, I walked away with a degree in journalism and a minor in Japanese language and sociology, just in time for the recession. Because the only job I could find was at a Chicago phone sex service, I decided to go back for my master’s degree. I know, I know. Hindsight is 20/20.
My first job out of grad school was as a staff reporter at The Daily Southtown, on Chicago’s Southwest Side. I was a somewhat snobbish, ridiculously enthusiastic young woman promptly put in my place by the mean streets of Bridgeport and Burbank. My sincere thanks go out to the Southtown boys who teased me mercilessly, gave me a nickname that should have resulted in legal action, and showed me how to get along with cops, politicians and city editors – in other words, generally ruined me for polite society thereafter. Thanks guys. I owe you. Next, I did an internship at the Chicago Tribune, where I learned the nasty truth about gender politics and static electricity. I then packed up my red Dodge Omni and my cat and drove cross-country to work for two years at the Albuquerque Tribune. New Mexico is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen, and it will always be special to me. But I missed my boyfriend, and moved back to Chicago. (I’m a romantic at heart, right?) I spent the next year working in corporate public relations for a company that has since, shall we say, hit the skids. It was not entirely my fault. When my boyfriend finished medical school, we moved together to Indianapolis for his residency and my job at the now-defunct Indianapolis News (also not my fault.) We got married in September 1989. Unfortunately, Hurricane Hugo destroyed our honeymoon hotel in the Virgin Islands, our luggage got lost somewhere between the US mainland and Puerto Rico, and we spent our wedding night in fleabag motel near the Atlanta airport that housed the overflow from a nearby Army base. This made us pause and ask, "Mmm…is this some kind of omen?" It was.
What was my point
Anyway, my kids are growing up. I turned 45 this year. I feel blessed to have written five novels and three novellas since 2002 and acquired some of the best, most loyal readers around! Lately, I’ve had to take a few hairpin curves on the highway of life (think eroding mountain pass sans guardrail at about 70 mph) but I’m still kicking. My books will keep coming, so bear with me. I remain grateful for all the gifts in my life, including my children, family, friends, dogs, home, and a car that runs, despite the occasional encounter with a guardrail.