Attending my first wedding

'48 Bean & Bob's wedding

My first parka


    As Joe Friday was fond of saying, “Just the facts, ma’am.”

 Born and raised in Louisiana. Had a flare for costume, even at an early age.

Eventually immigrated to Canada, where I discovered a whole new line of costumes, most of which had something to do with staying warm. Lived several places, big and small, in Alberta and the Yukon.

    My earliest memory of consistent writing was at age nine, when I kept a diary for an entire year. I’m pretty sure I was writing bits and pieces before and after that.

    Started reading mysteries at about twelve, and never looked back.

    I wrote my first novel, a romance, at the age of 25. My protagonist was a 30-year-old woman. I was using the book to imagine what life was going to be like at that advanced age, five years in the future. Fortunately, that first version will never be published. I think—I hope—I destroyed all copies.

    Strong men and women have always fascinated me. Coming from a southern strain, quirky people fascinate me, too. You usually only have to go as far as the average, extended southern family to find people who are both strong and quirky, though both qualities are rarely present in the same person.

    But, there was my great-aunt, who arrived at my door one morning, dragged me out into my front yard, and insisted on photographing me. At the time we’d never been formally introduced.

    When she saw my confusion—I was wondering if the mental hospital down the road was short one person at the breakfast table—she told me her name. I immediately recognized her as the much-discussed, much-despaired-of, hardly-ever-seen family historian and genealogist. I felt as though I’d sighted a rare and wonderful bird, especially when I told my family she had come to see me, and they responded in awed whispers, “She did! She actually left her apartment?”