I live on the small island of Alameda in the San Francisco Bay Area with my wonderful, eccentric husband of almost fifteen years. I’m an accountant by day, an aspiring novelist by night, and an artist at heart 24/7.
Over the years I’ve had a variety of jobs, all of which have contributed in one way or another to my creative goals. I worked for many years in new and used bookstores and a couple art galleries; in the late 1990s I moved to New Orleans where I took a position at a curiosity shop called Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo (fascinating culture, crazy tourists). I shifted into small business upon my return to the Bay Area, first as an artist’s assistant to two local craftswomen (hand-made greeting cards and welded steel vases) and then as a bookkeeper. In 2008 I went to work for a multi-million dollar recycling company and have been on the corporate senior accounting team since. Through it all, I’ve been writing, traveling with my husband, and making art.
My current projects include the self publication of my paranormal/time travel romance series, the Haunted Hollow (writing as Tess Rider) and organizing my studio room so I can get back to being arts & crafty.
I have been an active member of the San Francisco Area chapter of the Romance Writer’s Association since 2011.
I hold a B.A. in Art History and did my thesis paper on Remedios Varo, one of the lesser known female Surrealists who’s deeply personal work brings an exciting dreamworld to vivid life and relates the story of her inner journey as a woman and an artist. I have long been interested in the impact of dreams, myths and the transcendental on the creative process and enjoy exploring those themes in my writing and art.
"For small creatures such as we the vastness [of the Universe] is bearable only through love."
Sources of Inspiration: (the short list in no particular order)
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley -prescient, gothic, and deeply philosophical with arguably one of the most famous anti-heroes of all time.
- The Darkest London Series by Kristen Callahan -paranormal Victorian London meets great love stories. In Shadowdance, the way her hero describe a kiss as a conversation to the heroine is one of my favorite scenes in the Romance genre.
- The art of Remedios Varo -a Spanish ex-pat living in Mexico post WWII, described on the day she died as Mexico’s National Treasure.
- Joss Whedon -Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Serenity, the Avengers 1 & 2, enough said!
- The city of New Orleans -this city enraptured me from the moment I set foot in the gas lit streets of the French Quarter on a warm spring evening in 1996. After eating some of the best food I’ve ever tasted, I decided I had to live there and did, from 1997-1998.
- The countries and religions of Haiti and Cuba -I studied them while living and working in New Orleans and found them fascinating and inspirational.
- Just about anything by Duke Ellington -especially The Far East Suite and Money Jungle. The Duke may not have invented jazz, but he was its ambassador to the world.
- Paul Farmer and Partners In Health -pioneering a whole different kind of health care for developing nations. Paul Farmer is the kind of real-life hero we need more of. I highly recommend his biography, Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder.
- Dr. Who -this BBC television series is AWESOME! Who's with me?
- All of Gil Evans and Miles Davis’s collaborations -love these two as individual musicians, and together the horns are epic, most especially on Sketches of Spain.
- The album Brothers by the Black Keys -modern fusion of blues and alternative that gets it right. Fun fact: many of Dan Auerbach’s lyrics inspired the titles for my novels and novellas.
- My husband’s awesome micro-photography of bees -you have never seen a bee like this before!
- My kick-ass critique partners, Alice Gaines and Theresa Rogers -you ladies rock!