I was born to be a princess. I was a princess, for a while. My parents overcame the poverty of their youth by becoming extremely successful. My hometown was one of the most affluent places in the country. I spent my time showing horses and water-skiing behind my dad's obscenely overpowered boat.
My life as a princess ended when a drunk driver ran into my father head-on in 1964, killing him. Not instantly, though. My dad's death was the stuff of horror movies and plunged my family into years of darkness.
My old life vanished. I lived at a below poverty level income for a while. What happened in the following decades opened my eyes. I've seen and lived the over-privileged existence I describe in the Bloodsong Series. I've seen how it can warp those who are lost in it. I've seen how the power of money can mask mental illness and allow evil to ruin lives.
Want to know why a San Francisco-born, Silicon Valley-raised woman is obsessed with Native Americans? After I'd drafted a few thousand pages of the Bloodsong books, I had this giant Ahah! At least half of the characters were Native Americans. Why? I don't think I'd ever seen an Indian.
I realized that they had lived the lite version of what happened to Native Americans. They had the kingdom--the entire continent--and lost it. I knew how that felt. They were treated abominably for centuries, and had the worst abuse hurled at them. I know about that too.
My writing has a bite. My life has had a bite. Recovering from what happened to me took many years. And I have recovered. What was legitimately mine came back to me, along with the fruit of my own labor.
Now for my "regular bio": I've been in school a very long time and have two advanced degrees. I've had prestigious careers. My writing has won twenty-six national awards. I'm very happily married; my husband and I have been together forty years. I have three grown children and two grandchildren. We live on our California horse ranch and love it. And I still get on a horse occasionally and love that, too.