I was born in Miami, where I survived the Cuban Missile Crisis, half a dozen hurricanes, and thirteen years of school. I grew up with the space program, watching rocket launches (including several moon launches) on trips to Cape Canaveral/Kennedy. While my brothers surfed, I played on the beach and watched rockets take off. I also grew up next door to Fairchild Gardens, an 80 acre tropical botanical garden, which functioned as a second back yard, and fed my interest in natural history. When I wasn’t dodging hurricanes, riding horses, or watching rocket launches, I was usually up in a tree somewhere with my nose in a book.
After high school I headed for Idaho, believing it to be like Colorado, only John Denver hadn’t sung about it. I went to the University of Idaho in Moscow, with some vague idea about learning how to live on the side of a mountain and raise goats. The idea began to pall along about the time I fathered a chicken. By then I had met up with a bad crowd: science fiction fans, and it was downhill from there. I started going to science fiction conventions, even helping to organize a few. From there the tragic slide into writing science fiction was all too easy, especially with the Moscow Moffia, a local writers workshop, there to enable me. That workshop included Dean Wesley Smith and Nina Kiriki Hoffman, who survived reading my first short story, though they did require emergency treatment for bad grammar burns. Eventually my sordid adventures in literature caught up with me and I had to leave town. Or perhaps it was the chicken…
My writing career:
Which is how I wound up in Seattle. I started off easy, writing short stories. It wasn’t until I attended Clarion West in 1984, that I started to write more seriously, first reviews, and then novels. I began hanging around other writers, staying up all night schmoozing with editors, and deconstructing Samuel R. Delaney, and Ursula K. Le Guin. Fortunately someone was able to put them all back together again. Having bits of author strewn about the living room is untidy and leads to questions one would rather not answer.
My first big break came from Locus, who took me up on my offer to write a short fiction review column. I did that for a couple of years, until I realized that I could either do a column or write a book. So I started work on Virtual Girl, which took two long years to write, and two even longer years to sell. I was so knee-deep in The Color of Distance when my agent called to tell me that he’d sold the book that it took me a couple of minutes to process that the book he’d sold was Virtual Girl.
While all of that was going on, I married, then divorced. While I was working on Through Alien Eyes, I married my current husband, Edd Vick. I began writing Storyteller shortly after we brought our daughter home from China.
After finishing Storyteller, I began a new novel, currently entitled Nomad, which is a galaxy-spanning love story about a woman from a family of space traders and a courageous man smuggled off his planet to get the medical education his people desperately need. Currently that book is sitting on an editor’s desk. With luck it will be published soon!
Miscellaneous links about moi!
A humorous bio, and proof that I did WAAAAAY too much at Nipponcon. I had fun, though!