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Thank you, SMFS!

Cubicle Escapee

I’m a dropout. Dropped out of office politics, gossip, empire-building, counting angels dancing on pinheads. I don’t miss the bloated egos, three-day meetings, laddering sessions, security checks. Someday I might write about it.

My Life in One Paragraph, Whew

I grew up in Riverton, New Jersey and moved to St. Petersburg, Florida when I was 16. In college I majored in math, though I also took a dozen courses in the English Department. I taught math for two years, the hardest most exhausting job in the world. I married and spent a few years having babies, my dear daughters. Needing to work, I decided to train for a different job, and went back to school to earn a PhD in operations research. Five years later, I took a job with a systems engineering consulting firm in the Boston area. Years passed as work and family left little time for anything creative. After my youngest graduated from college, I left my job, intent on a major life change, and moved to a small town in North Carolina where I opened a bed and breakfast.

Becoming a Writer

Harvard Extension offered a class in the short story, taught by Carolyn Coman. I loved the class, wrote a number of dreadful stories (as one does), got hooked on fiction’s challenges.

I wrote a novel about an undercover drug agent named Stella Lavender. I even found an agent but she couldn’t sell it, so I started another novel and applied to low-residency MFA programs to get a jump-start in the writing world. I chose Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine,  a stunning location on Casco Bay with a residency in Ireland and a popular fiction track. Twenty days a year to talk about writing with writers! Ten months a year, exchange packets with mentor teachers! It was an exciting and productive two years.

After I finished my second novel, Cold Feet, I submitted it until Five Star read it and – at last – accepted and published in January 2013. Its sequel, Cold Heart, was also published by Five Star, in January 2017.

A story collection, Restless Dreams, was published by GusGus Press in September 2017.

I teach occasionally at Central Carolina Community College in the creative writing program.

I’m a member of four mystery writers’ organizations: Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the SinC Guppy Chapter, and the Triangle SinC Chapter. Currently I serve on the Board of National Sisters in Crime as Chapter Liaison.

Miscellany

I like to play Scrabble, bridge and the piano, and dig around in my vegetable garden though I’m exceedingly amateur at all four.

Preferred reading – biographies, spy stories, and anything by William Trevor, John Le Carre, Lee Child, Susan Hill, Kate Atkinson or Ruth Rendell.

I’ve been a vegetarian since 1991.

I live with my affable math-loving husband Mac and my cats  Speck and Speckle. I own  Rosemary House Bed & Breakfast in Pittsboro North Carolina, and work there several days each week.

I love my family, the beach, the Smoky Mountains, elephants, Detox tea, toffee, coffee, old houses, Patsy Cline, John Groban, Elvis, k.d. Lang, classic rock, BBC,  And at my house we look forward to baseball season – we’re Tampa Bay Rays fans.

kittens at the computer

My kittens Speck and Speckle, helping me write Cold Feet. “Put a black cat in it,” they seem to be saying. So I did, in Chapter 20.

 

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