A newspaper clipping from my hometown in Germany ultimately inspired my novel, "Irretrievably Broken." A neighboring property had been torn down and a mikvah, a Jewish ritual bath, was unearthed. Experts speculated that a synagogue was most likely situated beneath the foundations of the house in which I had lived as a child. I read the clipping and promptly forgot about it. Or so I thought. But this discovery must have been burned into my subconscious. I was already more than half-way through my novel when I re-discovered the clipping and realized how much these facts had informed my writing. There, at the heart of a story of travel and adventure, of love and loss, was a Holocaust story, come to light after years of concealment, much like the mikvah that had been unearthed centuries later under our neighbor's house in a small town where no one in post-WWII Germany every spoke of such things.
200 years ago my incestors left Germany to homestead the fertile land of the Ukraine, the region that was to become Russia's breadbasket. This is where I was born, then lived in Romania and Hungary (briefly), then Austria and Germany until I came to the U.S. And here I am 200 years later, a proud member of a multi-cultural extended family of Germans, Norwegians, Jews, Afro-Americans, and Italians. I now make my home in the Seattle area of Washington where my husband and I enjoy hiking, biking, dancing, music (opera is a favoritef!). Of course, I love reading and writing, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
I received my B.A. in English from Cal State LA. I tried teaching, but decided it was not for me and subsequently held positions as varying as Hollywood press agent, waitress, sales manager, word processor, human resources officer, flower arranger, and many more, all fodder for the creative mind.
There are certain books I associate with difficult times in my life. F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Styron came at a bad time, but their sad stories lifted me up and I reveled in their wonderful words. Shakespeare was a writer/poet I discovered in my youth and read in the William Schlegel German translation, and later in English in college. I read the Russian novelists like Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Pasternak when I was much too young. I loved them for their complex story lines, like rivers merging into one sea. And I loved them for describing the Russian land I came from but didn't know. As I matured, I discovered Graham Greene, who called his novels "entertainments," but some of them, like "The Honorary Consul," I'd call heartbreakers. I feel a kinship with John Irving and Michael Ondaadtje as well for the meandering stories they write, for the time they take to develop character. And I certainly don't mean to slight the many wonderful women writers like Jane Austin, Doris Lessing, Ann Patchet, Dorothy Allison, Annie Proulx, and so many more, male and female.