Tell us about your background.
As an incredibly shy kid growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I expressed myself through writing early in life. I scribbled stories about going to California and meeting Barry Manilow, I never imagined reading this work aloud. I mean, I was too timid to order in restaurants or even to ask where the bathroom was. My shyness, in part, stemmed from having a hyper-critical father (luckily my mother was loving and supportive), a proverbial dysfunctional family in general, and from enduring classmates’ criticism that I was “an unusual-looking girl.”