- Live in Essen, Germany with my husband, two young daughters and the ghost of my New York-born cat.
- From Michigan, USA
- Have traveled in N. America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
- My fiction is represented by the amazing Laetitia Rutherford from the Watson, Little Ltd literary agency in London. Also see my fiction site.
- I freelance for private clients, radio, web, magazines and papers. Also see my LinkedIn profile.
- Fluent in German, English native language.
- BA Honors in International Relations, Michigan State University
- Interned US State Department, Washington, DC
- Masters in Journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, NY, NY.
- Newspaper staff jobs at the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Chicago Tribune.
- Moved to Germany because of my future husband and because why not? You only live once.
- Co-wrote Lost to the World, the nonfiction account of art theft in Nazi Vienna, well-received in Austria.
- Grew up playing flute. Honored to have been in the color guard in the competitive marching band at Plymouth Canton High School.
- For some reason, I love to back quiche. And cake. I jog a lot, but no marathons yet. I’m trying not to become too European, whatever that means. (I’ve been told it’s too late!)
I’m from Michigan, USA. Suburban Detroit, car country.
These are the careers I thought I wanted when I was in high school: FBI agent, CIA agent, diplomat, journalist, novelist. I wish I could say I’ve done three of the five to keep you guessing.
I was close, though. Back before you could download everything from the internet, I wrote to the CIA (I don’t recall the exact address) and asked them for an application for a kind of “young agent” program. They’d help pay some college tuition if I worked summers for them and promised I’d join them after graduation. I remember two things about that application. It was thick. And it informed me that if I was accepted into the program, I couldn’t keep a journal.
I trashed the whole idea. I guess it was my subconscious telling me I’m a writer more than anything else. Even if it was only journals and little stories scribbled in the margins of my homework.
As we all know, writing doesn’t pay. So I decided to become a diplomat. I came pretty close to this too. My bachelors is in International Relations, and I traveled to Europe to study defense policy with the Atlantic Council and European Union issues in Brussels. Then came the ultimate experience — as intern at the State Department in Washington, D.C. A paid internship. See? Diplomacy was paying more than writing already!
Off I went to traipse around embassies slurping martinis with hunky foreign diplomats. Except I wasn’t old enough to drink. And the work wasn’t at all like that. It was. . .tedious. It was. . .odd. After a discussion with my boss about ambassadors whispering to themselves in bathroom stalls, I decided the entire US government was mentally ill.
The diplomat idea was trashed. This was unfortunate, since I had my IR degree in the pocket and didn’t know what else to do with it. Then I had a bright idea.
Journalism! Where writing pays!
This was the 1990’s. Thank God.
It was a Golden Age. I whisked myself off to Columbia University in New York, studied news reporting, magazine, radio, a bit of TV, some “new media” as it was called back then. I goofed off a lot and learned even more and loved it. I got a masters in journalism. Which makes me a journalist forever. I certainly paid enough for the honor.
And since it was the Golden Nineties, I had job offers right out of school. First stop — the Philadelphia Inquirer. Fascinating city, beautiful countryside. I miss it. Next stop — Chicago Tribune. Chicago is bar none the most beautiful city in the United States. I don’t care what everybody says about San Francisco. It’s Chicago. I miss it even more than I miss New York and Philadelphia.
My last address in the United States was in Oak Park, right over the Chicago border. From there, I left my country for adventure, love and stronger coffee in Germany. Somewhere I acquired a husband, two daughters, the ghost of my New York-born cat and an addiction to fresh air. And German bread. Yum.