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My Story:

Some readers have a weird idea of what it means to be a writer. They think I’m locked away in a dingy room with only a computer to keep me company. It's true. I have calluses on my fingers from typing more than 30 fiction and nonfiction books on a plastic keypad. (Okay, so a few titles were tapped out on a typewriter.) But that's only part of the story.

As part of my research, I’ve ridden on horseback into Africa’s Maasailand, hiked through a leech-infested rain forest in Australia, shivered inside a dogsled for the first part of the famed 1,049 mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska, rode-the-foam on a long-board in Hawaii, and spun around dance floors in Havana, Cuba. True!

My adventure novel DEATH MOUNTAIN (Peachtree) is based on a true story. While attempting to hike to the highest peak in the contiguous United States, Mt. Whitney in California, my group was caught on an exposed ridge in a deadly electrical storm. The pack horse and mule were struck by lightning and killed. Three women in my party were airlifted off the mountain by helicopter and flown to a nearby hospital. Thankfully, they were released shortly after a doctor examined them.

For my middle-grade novel FROZEN STIFF (Random House), I spent a week kayaking to the largest tidewater glacier in North America, Hubbard Glacier in Alaska. Like my main character, I battled renegade icebergs and had a close encounter with a bear. Again, true.

When I decided to write and photo-illustrate DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW: THE STORY OF THE JR. IDITAROD (Mondo), I stayed with a family of mushers in Alaska. Everyday, I followed them with my camera while they trained their dogs. You know that's a true story since DASHING is nonfiction.

When I’m not traveling around the world or dodging lightning bolts, I like to dance. Sometimes I even enter contests at dance conventions. Even though I’ve never won one -- at least not yet -- it’s fun to wear clothes that sparkle and glue on false eyelashes. True story.

Okay, now it’s time to plop down in my writing chair....

skin_and_bones_chapter_1.docx (113 KB)


SKIN AND BONES. From the case files of a hospital Eating Disorder Unit in Los Angeles:

Jack “Bones” Plumb: Age 16, anorexic.
Goal: To retain his svelte self no matter what the hospital tries to force feed him.
Likes: Alice, a sexy but dangerously thin ballerina in the program. Dislikes: One-on-one meetings with the resident shrink-ologist, Dr. Chu.

Alice: Age 17, returning anorexic patient.
Goal: To be hired by a professional ballet company.
Likes: Manipulating the system, road trips, and, just maybe, Bones.
Dislikes: Anyone and anything that keeps her from getting what she wants.