Like so many born in mid-century suburban America, I enjoyed an idyllic childhood and a miserable adolescence. I mitigated loneliness by reading novels; Jane Austen became my best friend.
After graduating from Oberlin College with High Honors in English but few life skills, I moved to New York City so I wouldn’t have to buy a car. I did, however, endure fairly constant sexual harassment at my first low-paying job as an editorial assistant at a high end publishing house. Not knowing any better, I thought this was normal.
Rather than suffer ill treatment and worse pay while crawling my way to an assistant editorship, I decided I’d rather read good books, so I earned a PhD in English Literature at Columbia. In Jane Austen and the Limits of Epistolary Fiction, I argue that Austen uses letters to teach her characters and her readers the importance of close reading.
The good things about graduate school included reading great books, teaching at Columbia, and living in New York City. The bad thing about New York City was summer. In 1984, I rented a house even smaller than my New York apartment, wrote my first novel and met the man I’ve been married to ever since.
With my newly awarded PhD, I signed on as the office manager of what I called the Mom and Pop Doc Shop, bore three children, and dreamt of order, quiet, and time to write. But even in the noise and chaos of family life, I taught writing and literature to inmates, healthcare workers, children, college students, adults and elders through the Vermont Humanities Council. I’m now on their Speaker’s Bureau.
As a pen-for-hire, I translated medical text into ordinary English for two major medical centers, and I started to write essays, features, and fiction published in regional newspapers and magazines. Since 2006, I’ve been a regular commentator for Vermont Public Radio.
Into the Wilderness, my first published novel, received the 2011 Independent Publisher’s Gold Medal for Regional Fiction. I’ve written three other novels, two of which are for sale. I’m currently working on a fifth.
Even though I prefer print to pixels, I’m making my way into the blogosphere. It’s my good fortune to be a regular contributor to the New Hampshire Writers’ Network blog, Live-to-Write, Write-to-Live, where professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing. And I now have a blog of my own: Living In Place. Look for new posts here most Wednesdays.
With some skepticism, I use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. But I love letters best, so I invite you to sign up for occasional emails from me and look forward to hearing from you via my contact page. That’s the way to reach me regarding Editorial Services, Public Speaking and Writing Workshops. But you don’t have to have a project in mind just to drop a line and say hi.