I grew up in Hermosa Beach, CA, and graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a decorative, but not especially useful B.A. in Aesthetic Studies. I launched my writing career as a film critic for the Santa Cruz alternative weekly, Good Times, a position I've held since dinosaurs roamed the earth. My swashbuckling historical novel, THE WITCH FROM THE SEA was published in 2001. For 13 years, I reviewed books for the San Francisco Chronicle, where my specialty was historical fiction and women's fiction. My reviews of historical fiction and film appeared regularly in the recently demised and much lamented Paradox Magazine. In between, I worked in a movie theater and a bookstore; I've also been a cartoonist, a TV hostess, and a crafter of fabric dolls called Weird Sisters.
A German-language edition of WITCH was published in Europe in 1998 as DIE HEIMLICHE PIRATIN (which does NOT translate as "The Pirate Who Saved People From Choking." Reliable sources tell me it means, "The Secret Female Pirate.") This was followed by a trade paperback in 2000. If you'd like to brush up on your German, you can find them on Amazon.de. Since 2002, I've also written a monthy newspaper column on anything that pops into my head, from politics to Barbie, from my inability to cultivate a green thumb, to the mysteries of creative inspiration.
My short story, "Proserpina's Curse," in which a witty, educated, Restoration-era pirate finds himself beguiled away to Neverland to play villain to a pack of malicious little boys, was published in the Summer 2006 issue of Paradox. The story is an excerpt from my recently completed novel ALIAS HOOK, about which I may have more to post soon. Stay tuned.
I am inspired every day by my husband, James Aschbacher; at the age of 40, he sold his half of his retail business to his partner to become a full-time artist. We live in Santa Cruz with our two cats and a yard full of fruit trees, roses, and flowering succulents so hardy even I can't kill them.
Movies and theater, pirates, fairy tales, folklore and mythology, reading, drawing, baking, dollmaking, long walks around the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor to see the sea lions, cooking for friends, supporting local art and artists.
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