I’m an author, editor, and veteran publishing professional, with more than thirty-five years in the field and a specialization in memoir and other nonfiction. My clients have published with Chronicle Books, Wiley & Sons, Ten Speed Press, and a number of others. I have also helped authors successfully self-publish.
Some of my memoir students and coaching clients prefer to write for personal pleasure or to create books for family, and they consider me an invaluable guide.
After graduating with a degree in creative writing from UC Santa Cruz I began my publishing career as a magazine editor at Women’s Sports & Fitness, at twenty-three. Following that I was an associate editor at Ortho Books and a regular freelance editor for Ten Speed Press, Chronicle Books, and other Bay Area publishers for ten years before opening my own editing business in the mid-1990s. I am the author of two books, one published by Temple University Press, the other self-published (Girlhood in America: Personal Stories 1910 – 2010) in 2017.
I believe in the power of the personal and take great pleasure in helping transform the story of experience from truth to art. I know that well-written memoir can be more than a good entertainer, it can be a great teacher. I have been a speaker on memoir at the California Writer’s Club, the Story Circle Network Conference, and the National Memoir Writers Association. I was a consultant for writers at the 2018 San Francisco Writers Conference.
Besides this I am a memoir teacher, working with hundreds of people and critiquing thousands of short memoirs in my twenty-two-year career. Since 1996 I have taught memoir intensives at the University of California and at Southern Oregon University, and I taught memoir year-round for twenty years at Santa Rosa Junior College. I have taught online memoir courses for several colleges, and privately. I currently teach a weekly memoir workshop in the North Bay in California and will be offering a teleconference program.
I live in Sonoma County, where I write, study piano, take lizards away from my orange tabby cat Sunshine, and work with writers from around the country and around the world from the beauty of my countryside office.