Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author? I was a non-fiction writer for years, both as a magazine reporter/editor and as a corporate communications writer (brochures, newsletters, speeches, web content, sales letters, etc.). I never dreamed I could write fiction but every few years, something in me told to try and I’d take a class here or a conference there. Around 2013, I signed up for a course at the Sleepy Hollow Writer’s Center which required me to add onto my manuscript every week. I loved the discipline and eventually had 28,000 written. Then I put it aside for a few years until I met a lovely, New York Times bestselling author who took an interest in me and volunteered to send my work to his editor. That writer’s belief in me and that editor’s comments encouraged me to complete my first novel.
What is something unique/quirky about you? I play competitive trivia (Go Penguins!) and have competed in four national championships with World Tavern Trivia. So, I guess you could say I’m very trivial.
Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you! As the daughter of owners of a major Manhattan travel agency, I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world, which I then continued as a travel writer. My first trip was in 1986 to the location of my dreams—Tahiti—where I and others on my press trip witnessed Haley’s Comet at 4 a.m. and then watched the sunrise. When the sky turned the same color as the water, it was like looking into infinity. It was something I’ll always remember.
What are some of your pet peeves? Without getting too political: Bigotry, rudeness, hypocrisy.
Where were you born/grew up at? Born and raised on the North Shore of Long Island, with frequent trips to London to see the British side of my family (my father’s side).
If you knew you’d die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day? On the beach in Bora Bora with my family and my friends, eating lobster and chocolate and listening to all my favorite music.
Who is your hero and why? My daughter, Julianne. I’ve never known anyone who so strongly believed in herself and her values and was unafraid to share them with the world. She’s defended marginalized populations from an early age and has never been afraid to follow the beat of a different drummer.
What kind of world ruler would you be? Someone who realized that there were experts out there far better versed than I and would recruit them to advise me. Someone who emphasized education and empathy above all else because only when people are educated and willing to understand each other will we ever know peace.
What are you passionate about these days? Political change.
What do you do to unwind and relax? Walking my dog, watching mindless television, reading.
How to find time to write as a parent? Abject neglect. (Just Kidding!) I didn’t start writing in earnest until my children were out of high school, which was partially because my first book was kinky, and I didn’t want my children hassled because of my artistic choices.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less! Perfectionist, funny, stubborn, creative, independent.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. My grandmother used to be so proud of everything I wrote, it practically bordered on accusing me of plagiarism (“You didn’t write that, did you?”). Considering myself a successful writer is quite a different question. I don’t know how you measure that…maybe if and when I hit bestseller status?
Do you have a favorite movie? Lots. Goodfellas, Godfather I and II, Funny Girl, Legally Blonde, Shawshank Redemption…I could go on and on.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie? Expired Listings for sure, but I try to write visually, so any of them might fit.