It’s funny how life redirects your plans. Like many young women in the 1970’s, I pursued a teaching degree. With a major in English, I did what I would do with every minute of my life if given the chance—read great literature and lots of it.
As it would happen, I completed my teaching practicum in my senior year and only discovered then that I really didn’t want to teach at the high school level. Not that the kids weren’t precocious and fun, it was the idea of presenting the same curriculum year after year. Faces would change but the information wouldn’t. Like many others in my graduating class, I was jettisoned from college into the great unemployed.
So I moved to Arizona. It was just as easy to be jobless in Arizona as in New Jersey but with the benefit of Michael, future husband-to-be, already there. I searched for a job as my savings dwindled. With $21 dollars left in my account I became employed as a window salesperson. I’m embarrassed to report that I didn’t quit this job but let’s just say the terms of employment—a very hand-sy boss—were not to my liking. At that point, ignoring all parental advice, I decided to get a job I thought would be fun. I answered an ad for a human resources position.
And a career was born. So much to learn and the faces changed all the time as did the challenges. No day was ever the same. For a very long time, this was my passion and led to wonderful positions as chief HR officer for prestigious universities and also a doctorate in Higher Education Administration.
But, after thirty-five years in the field, it was time to try something new.
I can’t tell you when I started to realize my heart was leaning elsewhere. Maybe it was when I started in community theater, dancing and singing my way through musical productions, sometimes three in a year. I wanted to improve my craft so I took singing and dancing lessons. There were some painting classes and the occasional writing seminar. And I kept ignoring the signs: that I was never happier than when I was singing or dancing or writing or painting. After three years, when I had started to write on a very part time basis, I finally decided it was time to make the leap full time into where my heart had already placed itself. It was frightening but wonderful to start over, with so much new to discover.
THE PERFECT FRAUD is my debut novel. A native New Jerseyite, my family and I lived in Arizona for twenty-five years. Now I write from New Jersey, blocks away from where Washington crossed the Delaware. My husband, Mike, and I have two grown sons, Chris and Nick, and Emma, a cat who is definitely a reincarnated dog.