I was born in a little town called Farmingdale on Long Island, New York. Sounds rural and charming but, alas, it’s not. It is a typical suburb outside of New York City with houses that all look the same, a small Main Street with a couple of drug stores (one of which was owned by my family), a movie theater and a bank. I was the middle of three girls, and had a childhood surrounded by the attention of two loving parents and four doting grandparents—a situation which is now, sadly, unusual. If asked, I would probably say that it was the good luck of having all four grandparents in my life throughout my childhood that gave me that love of storytelling and appreciation for language which helped create the writer I am today.
But rather than ramble on about the wheres and whats of my life, how about I tell you ten secrets?
- I’ve played the violin since I was 7 years old. (This isn’t really a secret, but I constantly forget to mention it. Why is that?)
- I wrote my first play at age 8. It was about a family of mice. It was genius, I think…
- I have done all the coursework towards a PhD in Classics, but somehow never got around to finishing my dissertation. (Don’t tell my students.)
- I traveled around Europe in a VW van when I was 18. We never did tell my grandmother.
- My favourite singer is Jimi Hendrix (I like to pretend I’m still a hippie).
- I’ve been married for a very long time and we have two grown sons. Another son died of SIDS (cot death) when he was 5 weeks old.
- My family moved from Russia to New York. I moved from New York to London. In 2016 we moved back to the States. The move eastward made them nervous. The move westward made me nervous.
- I have uncontrollable wanderlust. Maybe that’s not really a secret.
- I have an unsettling obsession with the idea of absinthe.
- I still think I’m 27 years old, and probably always will.