Silvia Foti was born on a late summer day in 1961 on the South Side of Chicago, and she has lived on that side of town ever since. At Marquette Grammar School, her eighth grade teacher encouraged her to pursue a career in writing. The idea of living a life as a creative writer, however, shocked her Lithuanian parents, so they encouraged her to pursue a more "sensible" career such as accounting or law. Silvia struck a compromise with them and chose journalism instead. At Maria High School, she took her first journalism course and didn't mind it. At St. Xavier College, she majored in Mass Communications and became co-editor of the school newspaper with a friend because she was too scared to run the biweekly by herself.
Then she compounded the problem of pursuing a misguided career by going to Northwestern University and getting her Master's degree in Journalism. From there, she launched a livelihood in journalism, writing and editing for twelve years at the Academy of General Dentistry. Writing about dentistry exclusively, however, eventually drove her nuts, so on the side, she began to freelance for other newspapers and magazines.
In 1998, she launched her own writing company called Lotus Ink, and has written for a variety of clients, including the Chicago Tribune, Southtown Daily, Chicago Parent Newsmagazine, Crain's Chicago Business, LA Parent Newsmagazine, and Real Woman Magazine.
Her passion, however, has been creative writing, and unbeknownst to her sensible family of origin, she secretly began to write a mystery novel, treating it like a "dirty little secret" that no one, but her husband, knew about. She became a "double-life creative," a phrase she invented to signify the life that many creatives lead. During the day, she had a "real" job as a journalist, and during the night she had a "dream" job as a mystery writer. Realizing that the leap from journalism to creative fiction was greater than she ever imagined, she became desperate and enrolled in a home-correspondence course through the Writer's Digest program. Through that program, she met Robert Gover, New York Times best-selling author of "One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding." He became her creative writing mentor and gave her the enouragement she didn't receive anywhere else to write her first novel.
After a pregnancy of seven years, Skullduggery was born and accepted for publication by Creative Ars Book Company in Berkeley, California.
Toay Silvia continues to lead a "double-life," and along with her journalism writing, she teaches the basics of public speaking (Speech 101) at St. Xavier University and English 101 at Daley College in Chicago. Most recently, she has begun a creativity coaching practice in which she coaches other artists to unblock so that they can unleash their creativity. In her journey, she has learned that dream jobs can become real once a double-life creative receives support an encouragement from someone---anyone.
She is fluent in Spanish and Lithuanian. She resides in Central Stickney with her husband Franco Foti, who works at Holy Cross Hospital, and their two children Alessandra (Sahs Grammar School) and Gabriel (Our Lady of the Snows), ages eight and four.
She is a member of the National Writers Union and Sisters in Crime.