Trained as a singer at New England Conservatory and Indiana University. Major influences, Mozart and Handel. Worked as a singer for 25 years, then became voice teacher and coach.
Began writing professionally while I was singing, doing animal stories for little magazines. After I retired I wrote features and reviews for the Boston Globe
I read all the time, always have. Early beloved books were Oz, Anne of Green Gables, Lord of the Rings, Bambi, Black Beauty, Ginger Pye, and the Black Stallion.
I wrote "Sam (a pastoral)" as a sort of Valentine to a real live horse, as big and ugly and strong-minded as the horse in the book. He was not a horse you could bully or intimidate, not that I wanted to do that. I always had the idea he was obeying me as a special favor to me, personally. We went everywhere, did crazy things, and I always felt that things were going to be all right when I was on his back. And they were.
Right now I love the books of Hilary Mantel, Wallace Stegner, Jeffrey Lent, Per Petterson, Kate Atkinson, David Mitchell, for literature. I have never quite outgrown Tolkien. My favorite horse novel is "Horse Heaven" by Jane Smiley.
I read a lot of non-fiction: history, nature and animals (Temple Grandin, Monty Roberts). I love poetry and am trying to catch up on the poetry classes I missed in my conservatory-style college education. Shakespeare of course, Milton, Donne, Herbert, Marlowe, Sidney, Daniel. I love Emily Dickinson and work hard to understand why she give me chills down my apine. I'm not alone in this, evidently.
I like sagas: the Icelandic Eddas, the Iliad and Odyssey. For murder mysteries, give me Dorothy Sayers and Wilkie Collins for style, and Michael Gruber for sheer bravado. Illustrated novels: "The Rabbi's Cat" and "Persepolis."