1. I’m an introvert. This may not be a surprise, as I think many of us writers are, but I tend to think of myself as quiet and shy (even if others may not see me the same way). I’d prefer a quiet night on the couch to a big party. However, a lively dinner party with a few close friends or family members is very much my speed.
2. Cooking is my therapy. As a mom of two daughters, some nights I feel like a short order chef, but I love when I have time to cook something new or more elaborate. When I’m cooking, all of my other worries fall away. The nonstop loop of things to do is finally stilled when I have to focus on measurements, reading the recipe, and not burning the onions.
3. I love puzzles. This is a new interest and one that makes me feel like I’ve firmly sunk into middle age without realizing it, but over the winter and during quarantine, I discovered I love doing jigsaw puzzles. There’s something very calming about this type of problem solving and even though my family laughs at me, I love it when I have a puzzle splayed across my dining room table that I can keep returning to. I made the mistake of jumping too quickly from a 500 piece to a 1000, so I’m sticking with the 500s for now, but I think I’ll be ready to make the leap up soon!
4. I’m an accidental teacher from a family of teachers. As the daughter of a principal and preschool teacher, I never intended to follow into the family business. I wanted to be a writer. However, I soon realized that most writers also do something else, and so I became an English teacher and continued writing on the side. Fifteen years after I became a teacher, nearly every one of my family members work in education too. In addition to my parents, both of my brothers are educators, my husband is a teacher, and my mother-in-law is a retired principal. Needless to say, we love summer in my family!
5. I hate flying things. Pigeons, bats, beetles, flying bugs of all shapes and sizes all make me cringe. I think it comes from the fear of them flying into my face or getting stuck in my hair. I nearly had a panic attack in St. Mark’s square in Venice where there were hundreds of pigeons flying everywhere. I never did get up to see the Campanile.
6. If I had to live on one food for the rest of my life it would be pizza. Or ice cream. Or pizza with a side of ice cream. I never get sick of either of these.
7. I live on an island that most people associate with the Kennedys, tourists and wealthy celebrities, and the movie Jaws. Martha’s Vineyard is indeed a playground for the rich and famous during July and August, but the rest of the year it is very much a small community. Everybody Lies takes place on a fictionalized version of the Vineyard, and I drew on my own experience living in Martha’s Vineyard to create the setting of Great Rock Island in winter.
8. I love to go for long walks, but quarantine changed those for me. Walking alone has always been a way for me destress. I enjoy calling friends and family and listening to podcasts or music, but during COVID, my daughters starting walking with me. Every morning before online school, my older daughter and I would walk for an hour. On the weekends, I’d take my younger daughter and our dog for a loop through our neighborhood. Though I miss the solitary time, I feel closer to my children because of these walks—and we’re all in better shape than we were before quarantine.
9. Ireland is my home away from home. My husband is Irish and all of his family still lives there, so most summers we go to Ireland for a month. We stay in the beautiful seaside town of Kinsale in Cork County in the house his grandmother once lived in. Though they’ve been raised in America, my daughters get to experience their Irish culture during these special visits and my husband gets to reconnect with his family and home. I get to enjoy the slower pace of life and the natural beauty in our daily surroundings.
10. Even when I’m not writing, I’m always writing. My mind is constantly churning out story ideas, conflicts, characters I’d like to explore, and sentences I’d like to write. Being a writer is not just about putting the words on the page. It’s a way of viewing the world.