A bit of background . . .
My love of reading and my desire to write have been two constant threads in my life. I was a kid hungry for the written word—all kinds, even on cereal boxes, soup cans, and in the comics, especially in the comics--and couldn’t get my fill. During the summers, I made regular pilgrimages to the children’s section of the National City, California, public library and checked out the maximum number of books allowed, then hauled them back a few days later, eager for more. Of course, I read the Bobbsey Twins books and so many others, but I also, just out of curiosity, dipped into books on decorating and etiquette, I even tried to teach myself French from a book, but never having heard the spoken language, the written pronunciation overwhelmed me, and the French would have to come later.
At age 10, I proudly experienced my first publication, a letter to the editor of a national girls’ magazine. I began to write “books,” really just three pages of typing paper folded into book form. I filled those pages with stories and poems and an occasional drawing. Then I force-read them to my friends during our lunch recess at school. By this time I was living with my family on the island of Guam, and I read to my girl friends among the ruins of the Spanish governor’s palace in Agana, the capital. I discovered my friends especially liked the stories when I wove them in as characters in the drama.
After finishing my studies at UCLA for a master’s degree in English literature, I worked as an advertising copywriter in downtown Los Angeles. In my mid-twenties I went to TEEN magazine in Hollywood as an editorial assistant and while there started an advice column for teen girls, followed not long after by a column for teens in the Riverside Press Enterprise newspaper.
I continued to teach writing, reading and literature—first at Riverside City College, then Oxnard College and finally Santa Monica College. From those years of teaching experience came the chance to co-author a series of reading improvement workbooks with Wanda Maureen Miller, a fellow teacher and cherished friend. We could not have imagined the series would still be going today and the two main books of the series now in their 5th edition. In 1982, my first novel, The Jews, was published, and in the following years came a variety of articles for professional publications and local newspapers.
While living in central Mexico in the 90s, I initiated another column, La Cara del Pueblo (The Face of the Town), for a newly-formed bilingual newspaper, El Independiente. The column featured interviews with everyday people in the town—a fruit-and-vegetable seller with a stall in the market, a motorcycle cop, a housemaid with an alcoholic husband, a Nahuatl-speaking artist for whom Spanish was a second language.
Currently I’m putting the finishing touches on my second novel, titled But Do You Love Me with Locura? I’ve recently finished a comedic farce, The Cost of Loving, written with a co-author, and am about to complete another play with the same co-author, a family drama titled Dream Lover.