What books did you love growing up? My mother read to me a lot as a young child. I remember lying with my head in her lap and listening to stories: Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, a series called Mother West Wind’s Neighbors and many more. It was comforting and probably why I’ve always loved books. Jane Eyre was a favorite when I hit adolescence.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live? I grew up in a military family. My father was a JAG attorney. My mother was a stay-at-home mom until I was a teenager, when she started working as a bookkeeper. For shorter times we lived in Texas, Arkansas, Washington DC and Alabama. I lived most of my teenaged years in Ohio. The majority of my childhood we lived in Paris, and I grew up traveling Europe during family vacations. I’m quite sure exposure to other countries influenced me considerably, and the draw to travel hasn’t left me. For work and pleasure I’ve spent time in the Middle and Near East, North Africa, Europe, Central and South America. I come and go from my home near Prescott, Arizona.
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask? It would definitely be Eugene O’Neill. I never knew much about his work or life—and this sounds a bit crazy, I know—but he began to show up periodically in mine. In the mid 1990s, before I began my first book, or even thought about it, he appeared to me in a dream that was prophetic and came true. That wasn’t the end of it. Our relationship has endured for years. I even wrote a blog post recently: “Eugene O’Neill and Me.” I won’t say more here. You’ll have to read about it: http://bit.ly/18l4h7j.
When you’re not working, how do you like to relax? Reading and artwork are favorites, and spending time with friends over dinner, conversation or hiking. I live in a wilderness area, which is very conducive to relaxation. I just step outside my door. About twice a year I take off and camp. I also like to travel out of country and explore.
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Genre – Fiction / Coming of Age / Historical
Rating – PG