I’m not good at talking about myself. It’s this little thing called shyness. As a writer, I’m REALLY good at gushing over other peoples’ books but don’t really know what to say when it comes to my own.
That said, I messed up and forgot to introduce A MURDER OF MAGPIES and myself to all of you. So here’s a quick 14 things about MAGPIES and me.
- My great-aunt owned a funeral home, and my father was a church organist. Because of this, any time I was home sick from school as a child, I almost always had to go to a funeral. I am sure this warped me in some fashion.
- The main character of A MURDER OF MAGPIES, Vayda, got her name from a friend’s daughter because I loved it. I’d first heard it in the movie, “My Girl,” but had no idea how to spell it.
- My great-uncle, “Snowshoe” Al, was an author. He published a few collections of short stories. They are rather bawdy and off-color and not at all the kinds of books that children should read.
- In A MURDER OF MAGPIES, Ward loves the Velvet Underground. When my husband and I first began dating, he gave me a cassette (yes, it was that long ago) with a recording of “The Velvet Underground & Nico.”
- I am ambidextrous and need to work with my hands or I get fidgety. I play several instruments and am frequently found in jeans splattered with paint from various projects or dirt from gardening.
- I met my husband when I was a baby. Our mothers were best friends, and I have known him my entire life. We have been together longer than we haven’t.
- Like Jonah and Vayda in A MURDER OF MAGPIES, I have a strange, somewhat telepathic link with my sister. We always know what the other is thinking and can tell when something good or bad has happened to the other. I also frequently have recurring or intuitive dreams and experience deja vu.
- Different careers I entertained because my funeral home-owning aunt insisted I needed a real job and not a fantasy: special education teacher, forensic analyst, graphic designer, hospice nurse. Different jobs I actually held: activities person in a home for severally developmentally impaired children, video store clerk, restaurant hostess, and library assistant at an art museum. In addition to being a writer, I also stay home with my three children and three dogs.
- I am 4’10” and because of this, I was often put inside lockers and even once set on top of a vending machine by taller classmates. I am highly skilled with getting things off high shelves using a pair of tongs.
- The book that made me decide to be a writer was THE SILVER KISS by Annette Curtis Klaus.
- I listened to countless versions of the old Santo & Johnny song, “Sleepwalk,” when I wrote A MURDER OF MAGPIES.
- Vayda’s mother has a bit of classic Hollywood actress Vivien Leigh in her.
- I am one heck of a cook. I can throw down like no one’s business.
- I wrote my first short story when I was about nine years old. A MURDER OF MAGPIES will come out when I’m thirty-four. Never let go of your dreams.