In an effort to avoid what I knew I should be doing with my life (writing -- it sounded so hard), for several years I expressed my creative side by dancing and singing. I belonged to two professional international folk-dance groups. Dancing made for a lousy living, but it was certainly fun. I also sang in a Balkan women's choir. I got to sing the tenor drone, for the most part. My first book, ONE BRIGHT MORNING, was published by HarperMonogram in 1995. What's more, it won the HOLT Medallion for Best First Novel. It was a good start, but my career has been . . . rocky, is the best word for it, I guess. Publishing's a brutal business, but I've got more persistence than brains so the publishing gods haven't killed me yet, although they seem to be trying awfully darned hard, curse them.
In September of 1996 my herd of wild dachshunds and I moved from Pasadena, CA, to Roswell, NM, where my mother's family settled fifty years before the aliens crashed. Roswell is kind of in the middle of nowhere, but it does have its advantages: no smog, no crowds, no money -- but I had no money in California, too, and you don't need so much of it here.