After raising five children and one husband, I came to the obvious conclusion that writing novels was an essential part of the recovery process. So I write. In whatever I write, I aim for a deep honesty and a respect for the complexity of all human beings, from the most virtuous to the most depraved. Except, of course, when I'm just having fun.
In addition to acquiring the husband and children, I also picked up a number of languages along the way, along with a rather diverse, some would say fragmented, resumé. I've waited tables, cleaned furnaces, taught English as a Second Language, been a pastor's wife in a small church (a job in and of itself), sold life insurance and mutual funds, developed market forecasting models, and spent some years homeschooling. I love music and gardening and animals and kids and food and travelling and life in general.
When I was seventeen, I spent the summer in Europe, studying German at the Goethe Institut, and travelling around, sometimes all by myself. A sweet suburban Canadian kid doesn't normally come to the table with a lot of street smarts, and I was no exception. But I learned. I came home much tougher, and with a list of penpals from all over the world, from Afghanistan to Colombia. I also had the unique opportunity of going to Istanbul with a Turkish family and spending a week with them.
That was a very formative summer for me, and probably had a lot to do with my fascination with different cultures and viewpoints. I'm always trying to put myself in the other's shoes and see things through someone else's eyes.