As an only child born during the Depression, telling myself stories was my chief form of entertainment. Once in school I began writing them down, but in college I chose to study Architecture rather than English. Later, as a single mom raising two kids, I supported us by managing architects’ offices and to this day the architecture of a place or building always catches my attention. Taking in (or creating) a scene without noting the architecture would be like eating a hotdog without onions and mustard! It wasn’t until I was in my 30s, when I moved from southern California to San Francisco, that I began to make my living with words–first as a critic and reviewer, then as the writer and host of my own television show and later as a journalist. I also had two more marriages during which I got to raise five step-children, some of the same ages as my own offspring and some after the earlier brood were off and on their own. I have loved that aspect of my life, and am delighted that so many have stayed in close touch. It was only after the end of the last marriage that I began to think about writing a novel, and when I stumbled on Guinevere many things, including her being step-mom to Arthur’s son Mordred, fell into place. When working on a book I’m generally pretty obsessive–it’s what gets me out of bed as soon as I waken, and often keeps me up until the candle has burned to a stub. But in the time when I’m not researching, hatching, writing or polishing a book I’m likely to be found growing catnip and orchids in my fern garden; making (or revising) clothes of many eras, planning trips both of a camping and motel nature, or harassing my favorite neighbors and ex-spouses. Since they range from railroad photographers to physicists, ex-pats to spiritual tutors it makes for a lively mix…and it’s all, every bit of it, grist for my books. At present I’m about six years into a big Micheneresque historical; have spent a good four years researching the Trojan War and have just finished the manuscript of Ophelia’s Tale. So when well-meaning friends point to my age and suggest I can’t possibly get all those books finished before I die, I simply quote Parke Godwin’s Guinevere — “I hope I live to be a hundred–I’d hate to think this is as wise as I’ll ever be, and besides, something fascinating might happen tomorrow.”
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