Personal Bio

Help Me Obi-Wan. This Princess Needs Some Halloween Candy.

Help Me, Obi-Wan.
This Princess needs some Halloween candy…

I was born and raised near Portland, Maine, on a little spit of land called Cape Elizabeth. The ocean surrounded us on three sides, so as a kid, the beach was always just a bike ride away. I could hear the fog horn from Portland Head Light from my house, especially during winter blizzards. I loved its sound. Spooky, in the best sense. My earliest aspiration was to be a mermaid. Failing that, I would settle for growing up to be Princess Leia from Star Wars.

I had family in other parts of Maine, and so divided my time between the coast and the interior, spending a few weeks each summer at Chairback Mountain Camps on Long Pond, in the Hundred Mile Wilderness south of Mt. Katadhin. My grandparents managed the camps, and these visits were the highlight of my year. We kids ran wild in the woods and on the lake, like feral creatures. We saw plenty of moose, and fell asleep each night to the calls of loons, reading The Lord of the Rings by kerosene lamp.

When I was seventeen I moved to New York to attend NYU. It was culture shock in all the right ways. Our campus was Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, and though I was broke, I still found ways to enjoy the city. I learned to ride the subway, went to my first Broadway shows, drank in a dive bar on Avenue B, and saw Spartacus at the newly revived Ziegfeld Theater.

Back then, I had what you might call wanderlust. I transferred to the University of New Hampshire for my sophomore year, and then studied Classics at University College London during my junior year. London was an amazing experience. I made some great friends, and had the opportunity to see much of Europe during school breaks. London remains one of my favorite cities in the world. Its little parks, the British Museum, great Indian food, theater and music. . . and don’t even get me started on afternoon tea and that devil’s delight known as clotted cream.

Various peregrinations brought me to Baltimore, where I met my husband, Matthew. We arrived in Taos, New Mexico in 1998, the result of throwing a dart at a map. I will neither confirm nor deny that there was wine involved the night we threw the dart that landed squarely on the Land of Enchantment. But it turned out to be a good move. As you can see, it’s quite a beautiful place.

Taos Mountain Winter Sunset

Taos Mountain Winter Sunset

I’ve been writing since the fourth grade, when I penned a tale about a girl and a pair of flying shoes. I remember sitting at my desk, chewing on my Number Two pencil, and feeling the thrill of creation for the first time. I made myself laugh, and gave myself goosebumps, as if I were reading someone else’s story. I was hooked. I write intuitively, often as much in the dark as the reader, wondering how my stories will end.

I love language and its power to evoke and transport. I love how characters take on lives of their own, surprising me and sometimes defying my expectations. I am happiest when I am writing.

Leigh and Matt...or Lara and Dr. Jones?

Leigh and Matt…or Lara and Dr. Jones?

I’m a simple creature. I enjoy nothing more than hanging out with my husband, Matt, and our two geriatric dogs. Matt’s my best friend, and he’s a chef, who keeps me (too) well fed. We love to travel, dig around in the garden, and generally make one another laugh until our stomaches ache. We like to binge on our favorite reading and movies. The siren call of the TV lures us on occasion, too, if the material is sci-fi, smart, spooky, funny or, preferably, all of the above.