I began my writing career in an after-school daycare program when I
was in kindergarten. With the encouragement of my mom and my teachers,
my path led to an undergraduate major in Literature at
University of California, San
Diego's Muir College, with a specialty in Shakespearean and Medieval
Lit. My first check for writing came in 1974, although the article, "One
Woman's Choice," (about the option of tubal ligation) was never
published. What do you expect from the owners of Penthouse? Yes, really!
The magazine (Viva) didn't last long and I submitted the story before
the first issue ever hit the streets or I wouldn't have bothered.
My first published submission was in a cookbook. Harrowsmith Magazine (a
Canadian publication) had a recipe contest. I submitted four recipes, of
which two were taken. The three volumes were published in
The Complete Harrowsmith Cookbook: All Three Harrowsmith Cookbooks in
One Volume, which is still available on Amazon.com but not
through the magazine. I don't eat my own recipes in there very often
anymore (too much cholesterol), but there are lots of others that I
love. Try the Pumpkin Bundt Cake. Yum.
Although raised on mysteries (especially Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur
Conan Doyle) and British and American comedy (P.G. Wodehouse, James
Thurber, Ogden Nash), and "girl" favorites (Shakespeare, the Brontes,
Victoria Holt, Mary Wallace), the science fiction and fantasy books
crept in as soon as I got my own library card for my 8th birthday. First
on the list was Robert Heinlein. From there, I just started to inhale
books, generally reading all that the library had by any author. It was
small wonder that when I settled on a genre to write, it would be
Fantasy and Science Fiction.
While living in Kodiak, Alaska, with my husband, David, the local
library had all of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover books. At the back
of one was an invitation to join the Friends of Darkover. Once the
newsletter started coming, so did the announcements of anthologies
(Friends of Darkover and Sword and Sorceress, mostly). In 1987, I
submitted a story for the anthology
Domains of Darkover ("A Gift From Ardais"), and in 1988 I
submitted for Sword and Sorceress. Within two months of each other, I
received acceptances for both stories, although the one for Sword and
Sorceress (called "The Amethyst Carekeeper") ended up in an
anthology called Spells of Wonder instead. I was very proud and
am still very grateful to Marion for the break. There are several
"known" writers today who got their first breaks in those two
anthologies. Both books have been out of print in English versions for
quite some time now, but I can always find them on
Soon afterwards, I began attending and participating in Science Fiction
conventions around the Baltimore metro area. About the same time, I
became involved in GEnie and got to know the writers there (now on both
sff.net). Some have become fast friends
and wonderful mentors.
I moved from Baltimore in 1992, and from my home in Washington State, I
sold three more stories to
"The Will" is in
Weird Tales From Shakespeare; "Everything Has A Place" is
in Enchanted Forests, and "The String Game" is in The
These days, I spend most of my time technical writing and telecommuting.
It's lovely working at home after too many years of commuting hours to
and from work daily. Now I have time (and inclination) to write again.
I also perform music with two bands --
Crooked Mile, a group that
specializes in eclectic Celtic music (we have a CD you can buy online
and samples of our music) -- and Port na Gael, a more
"straight ahead Irish" band, with a pair of Canadians from British
Columbia that David and I met at
traditional music "camp" in Nova Scotia.
People have asked me what I listen to when I write. Believe it or not, I
listen to public radio on the Web, and especially to
KUOW-FM. I also
listen to Celtic music and anything without words. If it has words, I
have to sing along. And then my writing takes a whole 'nother twist.
I'm ruled by ferrets [current count is 10], and yes, that's a ferret in
the background! They've been around as pets and ratcatchers for hundreds
Some book covers to look for (they're all out of print, so check
your favorite Out of Print booksellers):