My History in Seven Places

1) Queens, New York, USA

Born here in 1970

2) Pleasantville, New York, USA

Leafy suburbs. Grew up here. Had jobs like childrens’ party entertainer and bagel shop server and summer camp counselor. This worked out okay until I decided to go all gothy and people didn’t want to hire me anymore.

3) St. Andrews, Scotland

Went to university here. Started out doing English and Medieval History. Ended with an MA in philosophy and a future husband.

4) Amherst, Massachusetts, USA

This is where I started to write. This is also where I worked with mentally ill elderly people and brain injured young men. It’s where I learned to knit and quilt and garden and bake bread. Amherst is that kind of place. Most importantly, this is where I had my first (and almost my second) child.

5) Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

This is where I was going when I boarded an Amtrak train at 8 1/2 months pregnant. This is where I had my second and third kids. It is the only desert region in Canada and there is–how to say this politely—not so much to do in the Okanagan Valley, which meant that I had all kinds of time to dedicate to writing. This is where I lived when I got my first publication acceptance. I also saw my first of many black widow spiders here and picked the best cherries in the world by the bucketful.

6) Amherst, Massachusetts, USA (again)

Just a two year detour, really. Kind of depressing because even though we were living in a lovely house in the woods we knew we were going to be moving again soon. I worked at a nice little newspaper as a writer and copy editor. I also started doing some freelance writing and editing for places like Lark Books.

7) On the edge of Dartmoor, Devon, England

Where I am now, living with my husband and three kids, two guinea pigs and a cat called Supercat. I’ve been here for over seven years now and I plan to stay as long as I can because I can walk right out my front door into the woods or onto the moor or into town. It’s where I managed to finish my first novel and where I am now working on my second.