I was born in California, spent two years of my childhood in Japan, and grew up in Pittsburgh. While Long Island’s North Fork, home to my maternal grandparents and parents, will always be my second home, I have lived most of my adult life in Durham, North Carolina, where my husband and I have raised our three children.
As a writer, my greatest influences are probably Annie Dillard and Marilynne Robinson, but even naming them in a paragraph about myself feels audacious. Their impact on me is nonetheless real, as are the influences of Graham Greene, Frederich Buechner, and C.S. Lewis. I have also been profoundly influenced by my years at Duke University, where I earned a Masters degree in Liberal Studies; and I continue to be shaped by the Chapel Hill Bible Church, where my husband and I have worshiped and served since 1994.
I’d wanted to be a writer since I was in high school, but didn’t let myself give it an earnest go until I left teaching in 2012. Healing Maddie Brees was published in 2016, but even before the manuscript was finished, I knew I had other books in me. I’m deeply grateful for growing opportunities to speak about that novel and about writing, art, faith and work; and for the time and freedom to continue writing.
I love fonts, words, sentences and paragraphs. And I have an unreasonable fondness for semi-colons.