I grew up in a well-to-do suburb of Boston, the daughter of a doctor, the middle of three girls. As befit my status I was an under-achiever prone to testing the limits. I developed a passion for the theater early with performances as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, both during sixth grade. (One of my sixth grade classmates posted our class picture on Facebook recently and that started a thread that included this review “…you did the best Hermia of any rendition of “Midsummer Night’s Dream” that I’ve ever seen…”)
Despite my best attempts to disgrace my parents during my college years, I ended up graduating from Brandeis University, not with the degree in theater that I went in for, but with the slightly-less-useless-than-a-degree-in-English degree in Sociology.
My early working years were exciting. I put in time at a radio station, a record company, and a cable company. I was awarded a gold record by REO Speedwagon’s record company for playing their song, Keep On Loving You,which helped it sell enough copies to achieve what the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) determined to be Gold status; I saw lots of rock concerts from back stage; I hosted a local access cable television show called Absolutely Animals about, you guessed it, animals; and I was introduced to computers when a friend bought a Commodore 64.
At some point I answered a classified ad in the paper (that’s how people used to find jobs before the Internet) that said “we’ll teach you personal computers so you can help our customers.” I got the job and after a brief stint doing technical support I moved into marketing in high tech where, professionally speaking, I’ve been ever since.
I had made a good friend at the cable station who continued to work there for many years. At one point she decided to produce a half hour show to interview authors of recent books. She drafted me to be one of the hosts. Over the course of several years in the mid-90s I interviewed many of my favorite authors (Joyce Carol Oates, Elmore Leonard and Donald Westlake to name a few) and many brand new authors who would subsequently disappear into obscurity (not, of course, due to anything I may have said). However, some of those new authors went on to bigger and better things. I interviewed Barack Obama when his first book, Dreams From My Father, came out. He was not even a Senator at the time but at the end of our half hour interview I said to him, “I expect we’ll be hearing great things about you.” Really. I kid you not.
According to an article I read in The New Yorker a couple of years ago, some creative people don’t hit their stride until quite late. Cezanne, for instance, was in his 60s before he had any success. While I’m a far cry from 60 (or at least a loud whine) I am no longer a spring chicken. I am now hard at work on a Young Adult novel, which I expect, in due time, to be invited to discuss on the local cable access channel. Stay tuned.