When I was eleven, living with my family in Brooklyn, I decided to become a writer. Thus began my first career as founder and chief editor of the family newspaper. Once a week I broke major stories about fights between my seven siblings, the babysitter’s new boyfriend, or the occasional roller skating incident.
Feeling constrained by my too local beat, I decided to go regional and traipsed down to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, pad in hand, to “interview” dock workers. Why not? From the Brooklyn Promenade I could see them unloading the merchant ships and it looked like they might have some good stories to tell. A few actually spoke to the serious bespectacled girl wearing knee socks and loafers, but when my parents read that week’s edition, they put an end to my journalistic travels.
My careers have since diverged – a few times, actually – but I have never stopped believing in the power of good stories. As an actress and singer, I wrote songs that told tales. When I began to work as a private investigator, I wrote undercover roles for myself. Later, as a prosecutor in Westchester County, NY, I wrote briefs – a different kind of story that requires some creativity in seeking legal precedent that supports your case and still fits the facts.
Now I am a novelist and believe even more strongly in the ability of story to open readers to worlds they would otherwise never know. Several years ago, I became painfully aware of the nameless and voiceless animals we subjugate for the sake of entertainment, fashion, food, and sport. I also began to see more clearly than ever the wonder of these animals – their amazing survival skills, intricate communication, and the emotional bond they form with humans and with each other.
It has been this growing awareness that has inspired The Kinship Series. I have had wonderful moments on the Broadway stage, adventures as an investigator, satisfaction as an attorney, and a sense of accomplishment in writing my previous novels. But I am most proud of this new venture that brings together my love of writing and my passion for animals.
Cody – the best dog in the world
Kaley – also the best dog in the world, born Dec. 2012 and giving us joy every single day