I was born in Chicago, but we moved to Ohio so fast that I suspect my Illinois residence doesn’t really count. It’s kind of like those people who say, “Yeah, I’ve been to NYC,” but what they really mean is they drove from one airport to the other and spent most of their time in the shuttle placing bets on which cab would get into an accident first. Not that I’ve done that.
My mom did a lot of word puzzles and read so much Agatha Christie that she could recite the books by heart. My dad worked with high tech plastics machinery. This may explain why I became a bibliophile. It definitely explains why I tackled my junior high science project with the help of one of the scientists who worked on the atom bomb.
In high school, I marched in the drum line and worked backstage in the theater. Both activities were really just excuses to meet hot geek boys. I followed my boyfriend to college, which was pretty stupid considering that I broke up with him the second week of school. That left me free to date another long string of hot geek boys and play a lot of euchre. In between dating and cards, I got a degree in English Literature but graduated with no plans whatsoever, so back to school I went. I ended up in a graduate program in Educational Statistics with no idea how the bleep that happened.
Then came the string of random jobs. First, I was a market research manager. Then I became an autopsy coordinator/statistician, which is probably the weirdest job combo in the history of the universe. Then I managed the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center, which is the fancy title for the place that researches Mad Cow disease in humans. I spent a lot of time looking at brains there. That probably explains a lot. Then I was the marketing director for Evil Hat Productions, where I promoted and made tabletop games and started intense debates about why I should be the pink lion of Voltron.
But all that time, I wanted to be a writer. In between all the autopsies and mad cows, I did a bunch of freelance work for tabletop roleplaying games and textbook companies, which is yet another weirdo combo. I loved it. And once my kids were born, I decided I had to take the plunge and write a novel. My first book, Bad Taste in Boys, was published by Random House. Since then, I’ve written a lot–over 30 published pieces. I’ve worked with big publishers, small publishers, and on my own. I’ve done young adult books, science fiction, thrillers, and paranormal romance (under the name Carina Cook).
Now I live in Utah with my husband, who is a ninja doctor (fer real), and three crazy busy children. The other moms think I’m very weird. I think this is a compliment.