Mary Jane’s first home was a big farmhouse in Maryland where Henry the peacock made regular visits to show off his tail. Driving down the street with Henry on the hood of the car (the windshield was his favorite mirror) is one of Mary Jane’s first memories.

Her second home was a very old, crooked wooden house in Connecticut where she and her sisters played in a spaceship-tree, roamed in the fields, and told stories in the nooks and crannies of the creaky house. Her two biggest disappointments were not being allowed to swim in the flooded basement (it sure looked like an indoor pool!) and learning that leprechauns were not real. (or are they?)

After Connecticut came Minnesota and then Ohio and a fourth sister. Mary Jane survived the gauntlet of junior high and high school by disappearing into books and writing plays with her best friend and her sisters. She escaped for a year abroad in France, where she learned to appreciate all the food and her imagination grew. That’s where her lifetime love of reading sprouted a new idea: maybe she could be a writer?

It was a winding road from Ohio to now. Mary Jane got an undergraduate degree in International Relations from American University, spent a year studying history in Geneva, Switzerland, got a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of Michigan, and then got her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. (Mary Jane loves school, especially for things she’s interested in, and there are so many things to be interested in!) 

She’s worked in New Jersey, California, and North Carolina, where she lives today. Mary Jane is passionate about good storytelling – whether it’s about your local government or spinning a mystery. When she’s not working or writing, she loves to read, sew, walk in the woods, and try new crafts. She lives with her husband and dog and has two college-aged children.

Other odd facts:

Mary Jane grew up without a television, which made her feel very different. 

The first movie she saw was E.T. She still loves movies.

She had three dogs growing up, all named Teddy. The dog she has now is named Felix, which means happy and lucky in Latin.

Mary Jane has worked as a: French tutor, bakery worker (pies!), housekeeper, waitress, county planner, real-estate development, US Coast Guard base planner, university campus planner, local government planner & manager, university instructor, and plain language coach.

Sometimes Mary Jane sews her own clothes. But she’s very slow at it.

Mary Jane’s favorite colors are cobalt blue and leaf green.

Mary Jane almost never reads one book at a time.

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