1) I have four kids, two dogs, and one husband. And 40,000 dead Italian honeybees (Curse you, Colony Collapse Disorder).
2) My novel FOUR DEGREES started out as a love letter to the woods, mountains, and lakes of New Hampshire. Somehow it morphed into a thriller with a murder, invasive insects, and wildfire. Researching and writing this book taught me so much about the forests I already loved. Now I love them even more.
3) My first writing credits included several fan fiction scripts for the Wonder Woman and Mork From Ork TV shows in the seventies. Sadly the scripts (which I wrote and illustrated in crayon) have gone missing. A great loss to the literary world.
4) An unapologetic soil nerd, I run a small farm in New Hampshire. I love worms, bugs, bacteria, and fungus. That’s normal, right?
5) I may be the female version of Forrest Gump (with a slightly higher IQ.) I went inside the Berlin Wall when I was six. (But I can’t talk about that.) I was inside the Soviet Union while it collapsed and I accidentally dated a Russian mafioso. (Didn’t know, I swear. Things got weird.) I was also in South Africa while Apartheid unraveled and I accidentally made friends with one of Bishop Desmond Tutu’s former cellmates. She said, “Would you like to meet Desmond?” I said, “Sure.” So we hung out. I tend to win most raffles I enter, and I love a good box of chocolates.
6) My favorite books are: Red Lightning, The Dovekeepers, Underground Airlines, The House of Spirits, Flight Behavior, Salvage the Bones, Little House in the Big Woods, One Hundred Years of Solitude, American War, The Late Bloomers Club, Interpreter of Maladies, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Poisonwood Bible, Station Eleven, Homegoing, Jane Eyre, An Ocean of Minutes, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, An American Marriage, The Far Away Brothers, Here Comes the Sun, The Dry, The Persian Pickle Club, What Should Be Wild, and all the Harry Potter books. And pretty much anything about soil science.
7) I adore The Sundance Film Festival and try to go every year. The Writer and Director Q&As are fantastic and you can’t beat the people watching. FYI, it is absolutely possible to walk up to Bradley Cooper at a party, introduce yourself, and have a casual conversation.
8) I love to invent vegetarian and vegan recipes, then force my family to try them. Sometimes my creations are spectacular. Other times, not so much.
9) I have worked as a telemarketer, a waitress, a bartender, a salesperson in a surfboard/skateboard shop, a janitorial service sales representative, and a temporary receptionist at Microsoft (which offered me full-time work with OPTIONS in the early 90s. I said no to go work for peanuts at a local newspaper. No regrets, right?) I also used to write stock and finance columns for a Boston newspaper. Can you imagine anyone taking financial advice from me?
10) I love to build stuff with power tools.