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Vera Jane Cook's Biography

Member Info

Manhattan
Sure, why not?
Jan 2008

I was born in New York City and grew up amid the eccentricity of my southern and glamorous mother on the Upper West and Upper East Side of Manhattan. An only child, I turned to reading novels at an early age and was deeply influenced by an eclectic group of authors. My early favorites were Look Homeward Angel, Atlas Shrugged, Portrait of a Lady, War and Peace and anything and everything by F. Scott Fitzgerald and this is oh, such a small sampling.

I won numerous awards for acting during my years in Jr. High School and High School and went on to work in the professional theatre for many years, falling further in love with the works of Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neil, Lillian Hellmann and Sam Shepherd. I appeared in television, regional theatre, film and off Broadway.

After ten years in the theatre, I developed a passion for art history, film theory and philosophy. To nurture my many interests I enrolled at Hunter College through the CUNY BA/BS program from the City University of New York.

I received my degree in Communications and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1982. I went on to earn a Masters in Educational Theatre from New York University and took an honorary withdrawal from Actors Equity, SAG and AFTRA. For the next decade, I became a teacher and seminar/workshop leader. At the New Lincoln School, I taught creative writing, drama and English to middle school and high school students. I also taught the craft of acting to adult professionals at various colleges and adult centers. In the mid eighties, I developed a seminar for artists that focused on teaching the business of being an artist entitled: The Reality of the Dream. This on-going workshop received successful feedback for me and was presented at many artists forums, acting schools and colleges around the tri-state area.

A financial mid-life crisis forced me into corporate life at the age of fifty. I worked as an education territory manager for The New York Times and as a Project Manager for the Education department of the New York Daily News. I have also worked for Scholastic and Oxford University Press. I presently work as an academic consultant for Triumph Learning. 

Dancing Backward In Paradise is my first published novel. It has won an Eric Hoffer award for excellence in Independent Publishing and the Indie Excellence Finalist Award in general Fiction. My next two novels, The Story of Sassy Sweetwater and Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem, will be published in 2011 by Musa Publishing.

Upcoming Works

The Story of Sassy Sweetwater

Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem

Recommended Links

Publishers

Musa Publishing

Interests & Hobbies

decorating, reading, walking, art museums, philosophy