I was born in 1948 in Baltimore, Maryland. I have been reading science fiction since junior high school, and have been writing professionally since 1973. I now live in Madison, Wisconsin, with my husband, editor Jim Frenkel, and our two children. We also have four cats, a guinea pig, a gerbil, two hamsters, plus rats and fish whose numbers vary.
I studied art in college, but eventually changed to a major in anthropology, and received a B.A. degree in it from San Diego State University, with highest honors. I have worked as a salvage archeologist, and I find a background in anthropology has been very useful in writing science fiction. Anthropology is similar to science fiction in many waysthey both offer fresh viewpoints for looking at "human" behavior; archeology is the anthropology of the past, and science fiction is the anthropology of the future.
My first story, "Tin Soldier", a novelette, appeared in Orbit 14 in 1974. My stories have also appeared in Analog, Millennial Women, Isaac Asimovs Sf Magazine, Omni, and other magazines and anthologies, including several "Best of the Year" anthologies.
For several years I was the token "female hard-science fiction writer" in Analog, which was (and still is) the most technologically oriented of the science fiction magazines. I was asked to write the cover story for their "All-Women Issue" in the mid-1970s. That story, "Eyes of Amber", won the 1977 Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novelette.
My novel The Snow Queen won the 1981 Hugo Award for Best SF Novel. I have been nominated for several other Hugo and Nebula Awards, as well as for the John W. Campbell New Writer Award. My novel Psion was named a Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association. My Return Of The Jedi Storybook was the #1 Bestseller on the New York Times Book Review List for two months; it was the first such book to reach #1 on the list, and the bestselling hardcover book of 1983.
I have eight books currently in print--Dreamfall, The Summer Queen, Heaven Chronicles, Catspaw, Psion, Phoenix In The Ashes, World's End, andThe Snow Queen. Besides the childrens storybook of the The Return Of The Jedi, I have written several other novelizations of movies, for adults and for young readers. My last novelization was a YA version of George Lucass film Willow..
My most recent novels are the third book in the "Snow Queen Cycle", The Summer Queen (Worlds End is the second book), the longest novel Ive ever written; (I think of it as my "War and Peace") andDreamfall, my third novel about the character Cat, the protagonist of Psion and Catspaw. I also recently finished a novelization of the new movie, Lost In Space. I'm currently at work on Ladysmith, the first in a series of "prehistorical" novels set in Europe, which I hope will be the perfect project for combining my interest in speculative fiction and anthropology.