More About Me

Website 3 (2).jpg
Tamra and Lyla_Leaves_2022.jpg

I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and moved to Texas when I was 18 years old. I went to Trinity University in San Antonio for a few years and then transferred to the University of Texas at Austin, where I got a B.A. in English. I got married and settled in Austin, and a few years later, I returned to UT and got my master's degree in library and information science. I worked part-time as a college reference librarian for many years, but my passion has always been writing. 

In the course of my career, another passion emerged. Just out of grad school, I got a job as an astronomy librarian at the University of Texas, and I fell in love with sky legends - the stories people told to explain the wondrous things they saw in the heavens and couldn't explain.  I wrote radio scripts on sky legends for NPR's Stardate on a freelance basis for many years, and I spent long hours in the UT libraries reading myths and legends of all sorts. So, I gathered them together and wrote an encyclopedia of myths and legends, Legends of the Earth, Sea, and Sky, published by ABC-CLIO. I then wrote an encyclopedia of food myths, Nectar and Ambrosia, also published by ABC-CLIO. Later, I adapted myths and legends of natural phenomena and created two teachers' guides, Wonders of the Sky and Wonders of the Air, which explain science through the study of myth. The encyclopedias are for grades 7 and up and the teachers guides for grades 4 through 8.

 

But adapting stories is one thing and creating them quite another.  And the desire to write stories runs deep in my veins. Mirror Child came about when I "saw" my characters in the hoodoos and rock formations of Colorado, Arizona, and Utah - so real they seemed like living beings, staring at me from a hidden realm.  With their images embedded in my brain, their stories formed in my mind. And their stories, like the depths of human perception, are nothing short of miraculous.

 

Pareidolia is the term used to describe the perception of patterns in the world where seemingly no patterns exist.

Yet faces stare at us from the surface of rocks, and a man smiles down at us from the face of the moon. If we recognize these images, and allow ourselves to dream, they inspire the imagination. 

 

 Jack and Jill and the Man in the Moon is based on an ancient Scandinavian sky legend that explains the waxing and waning moon, and I wrote the story long before I recognized the spirits in the rocks. In the canyons and the streams, in the oceans and the sky, lives stir within every form and phenomenon in nature.  Like mythmakers from the beginning of time, I create stories that explore the possibility that magic exists everywhere, if we open our eyes and imagine the possibilities. 

Currently, I live in Spicewood, Texas, just outside of Austin, with a white German Shepherd named Lyla. I have two daughters, Cristen and Carolyn, and two granddaughters, Kendall and Kacie, who rock my world and inspire my imagination.