Author Headshot 3 Oct 2016

Like many other authors, I’ve wanted to write since I was a kid. I even submitted an entry for a contest advertised on a matchbook. (Eventually I gave up waiting to hear back.) But when it came time to declare a college major I got squeamish about my prospects for making it as a novelist. So instead of English I majored in psychology, studied psychology in graduate school, and worked 30 years as a professor of psychology.

Obviously, I came to writing in a roundabout way, which has its ups and downs. Since I didn’t have the confidence early on to launch into a writing career I supported myself as an academic for a few decades and saved up for leaner times. I learned quite a lot about human nature during those years—and not just from textbooks—and came up with a few ideas for novels. When I finally got up the gumption to start writing I had a lot of learning to do. So I made the rounds at writing conference, read all sorts of books on the craft, and started a critique group. Twelve years and four novels later, PARLOR GAMES found a home at Doubleday.

Historical fiction about real characters is what I love to write. I enjoy the challenge of starting with actual historical figures and dramatizing their lives—figuring out what motivated them to behave as they did, studying how the cultural and historical context may have influenced them, and recreating some sense of their emotional world through dialogue and action.

These days writing novels is all I want to do! (Besides gardening, going to the opera, reading, and hanging out with my sweet dog Sheba.)

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