The Author

Photo Credit: Danny Sanchez

A Few Facts About My Early Life

I was born in a blizzard in Milton Massachusetts where my father was a teacher and coach at Milton Academy. On the night before my early-morning birth my parents battled snow and slippery roads to drive to the hospital in a cranky old Ford Woody station wagon with a broken, wide-open window. My father later called the school to let them know he couldn’t teach his classes, and he always claimed that the next day all classes at Milton were cancelled to celebrate the great occasion of my birth. I took that as gospel for a long time, but I’m guessing it was really only a snow day. Just a hunch.

I learned to read when I was three years old. This was thanks to a six-year-old sister who came home from first grade every day, sat me down, and played “teacher.” She taught me phonetics and I can still remember vividly the miracle of opening all the books in my room and realizing I could read the words myself. My world had changed forever.

At eight, in the back of another Ford station wagon, I had an experience that, to me, signaled that I would be a writer someday.  If you want to hear the story, click here

But I grew up and had to earn a living. These are some of the jobs I have had, in chronological order:

  • Typing letters at a cheap jewelry manufacturer in the garment district in New York
  • Administrative assistant to the General Counsel of Columbia Pictures (NYC, Fifth Ave.)
  • High school English teacher in California
  • Corporate newsletter editor at a real estate development company in Florida
  • Communications Director – Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, also in Florida
  • Development Director – New Canaan Country School in Connecticut
  • Development Officer – Amherst College in Massachusetts.

That eight-year-old’s dream of writing – what happened to it?

Did I write furiously and devotedly in my spare time during these years of work? No, I did not. At some point I did get serious about an idea and I wrote several chapters of a novel about Benedict Arnold, but never managed to get beyond a certain point. This went on for about 15 years (I’m not kidding) – and one morning, stuck as usual in front of the computer, I took a break. Which turned out to be a very good idea, because it was at that moment that The Velveteen Daughter was born. If you want to hear the story, click here

Personal stuff, in a nutshell:

I have been married more than once. My most recent marriage is twenty years old, and so I think it’s not too much wishful thinking to say that it seems to be working. I was a single mother for fourteen years, and have a stellar, marathon-running son and two awesome grandchildren. I am also a proud stepmother and step-grandmother of four daughters and six grandchildren.

I take very long walks. I carry a pen and notepaper with me as I seem to get a lot of creative ideas and writing problems worked out along the way.

I have a thing about cemeteries. Always have. Drove my son crazy on road trips, though once I showed him how to find military graves from the Revolutionary War (spurred by my Benedict Arnold work-in-progress obsession), he could look at it as a treasure hunt and then it was sort of fun.

I think that’s enough.