Journalism was always my craft. I got hooked in a high school journalism class in Meadville, Pennsylvania. My teacher taught us that a journalist’s job is to listen and question. To above all, be nosy and stay curious. I thought that sounded like a good way to make a reasonable living.
In my career I got to write for newspapers and magazines, have a national newspaper column (New York Times News Service), contribute to anthologies like Cartwheels on the Faultline, do public radio commentary for KRCB-NPR, have my Juicy Tomatoes books published,co-write others (Goodbye Good Girls and Claiming Your Creative Self) and co-write a play (People Like Us).
Now, I’ve written my first novel, Laughing in the Dark to be published by Open Books in late summer.
Fiction is as different from journalism as a mermaid from a red snapper but they do have some terrific things in common. You get to tell stories, figure out some of your own truths, and meet thoughtful and witty people who not only share their lives but hand over some really good lines.
In Laughing in the Dark there are three main characters and several minor ones. I made them all up but some of who they are and certainly a lot of what they say and think I borrowed from years of scribbling it down.
Put on a laughing face: This is a photo of my sister, Nancy, and me cracking each other up one night in Newburyport, Mass.
We’ve muddled through many dark times together, but we always manage to keep each other laughing.