I was born in 1951 and recently retired after twenty years of teaching. I have been married for over thirty years. We have two kids, three dogs, (two of them rescues) and a house full of books.
What are you reading right now?
Fiction or nonfiction? In nonfiction, I'm reading a great deal about sexual dimorphism, and also about the history of Eastern Europe especially in the last hundred years.
In fiction, I am reading the first Eye of the Maker novel by Tom Simon. I am also rereading the third Patrick O'Brian novel for a discussion group.
What first sparked your interest in writing?
It was actually drawing. Writing was so laborious. I was six years old, and I made books on folded paper towels. For years, I drew the stories out in comic book form, then tore them up and threw them away. But between the ages of eight and ten I began to get the urge to write them out instead. My dad was a stationery salesman, so I could get tablets. I realized when I was nine or ten that nobody was forcing me to write short stories, the way we had to do at school. I could write my stories as long as they needed to be. What a joy that was!
What do you love the most about writing? The least?
I love everything about writing. I guess the only thing I don't like is how many decades it took for me to understand that I was a visual writer, and to learn to rewrite. An ongoing process.
Tell us a little about your writing process.
Generally stories begin with an image, a situation. I ask myself how they got there, and if I see where it's going next I sit down and live it all through my fingers.
What are your passions?
Life! Love! Laughter! Beauty! Honor! Agency! Justice!
Because it's cool, it's fun, I love the possibilities of magic and other worlds.
Why young adult?
That mostly arose out of habit. I started writing young, and many my stories seem to be about young people finding their place in the world.
How was A POSSE OF PRINCESSES born?
The first image was a disparate group of girls who are all princesses going off to rescue a prince. As I started writing about them, and how they got there, it seemed more fun to have them rescuing a princess who had kidnapped a prince — though nobody knew that at the time.
How was CROWN DUEL born?
I was sitting alone at my desk in Vienna, Austria. I was cold, and lonely, as I had not mastered the German language as well as I had thought. I felt ignorant in my shabby Los Angeles clothing in the middle of this sophisticated city. Then I got an image of a girl with her foot caught in a trap. Ugh. But it persisted, I sat down to write it out, and the next thing I knew I had a hundred pages. I put it away for a couple of years, took it out to reread it, and that the court duel half hit me.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Read a lot, especially outside of your favorite genre of fiction. Observe how real people act and react.