I was born in Montana. My dad was a logger and my mother worked as a cook. They tell me that I was a difficult baby: slow to talk, indifferent to affection, and attractive to rattlesnakes. Maybe that was true, but I talk way too much now and haven’t seen a rattlesnake for several years.
I was the first person in my family to go to university; I really had no choice because I was a book-loving day-dreamer who was unable to do useful stuff like cutting down trees. Even though I always liked to read, writing books was never my goal. I worked in libraries, taught school, and wrote indexes for books about history and science. In fact, I only started writing books because I wanted something to read one day, but I didn’t have a book like the one I wanted to read. As it turns out, writing fiction is very much like reading – at least the way I do it, which is without an outline or any idea how things will end. I’m not picky about where and when I write. If I were, I’d never get anything done. My life is very chaotic– or at least unpredictable.
Ten things you might not know about me include:
I love watching jellyfish in aquariums. My favorites are the Sea Gooseberry and Moon Jelly.
I am nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other. I like using both telescopes and microscopes, but I refuse to wear glasses.
I am an atrocious speller. I have papers from the 5th grade that appear to have been written by a confused chimpanzee – it isn’t just the spelling; it is also the penmanship.
If my original career plans hadn’t gone wrong, I’d be a cowboy-astronaut.
The first time I took calculus, I got an F, which is to say I flat-out failed the course (. . . proving I was not destined to be a cowboy-astronaut).
When I travel, I collect sand from deserts and beaches. Sometimes I end up bringing sand home in one of my socks. Socks are handy little bags.
I like to try to repair machines. I fail more often than I succeed, but I like the process either way.
I like radishes.
I am afraid of bears, although I find them wonderful.
I am the least interesting person I know.