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A short biography

In "real life," I'm a disabled vet living with my Norwegian Forest cat, Gunnar, in Tucson, Arizona. I love the desert, and my computer is set at a bay window overlooking the desert and the mountains rising to the north and northeast. I sit here and see coyotes and quail and hawks, woodpeckers, people walking their dogs, roadrunners, coyotes (I like coyotes), even the occasional bobcat. And of course, squirrels, of which we have three types, that I've identified, at any rate. At night the javelinas come around... I'm not a fan. Sue me. I'm addicted to SecondLife and the world I've created there, and when I'm writing, I'm most likely also in SecondLife with my avatar (Elysa Swansong... feel free to look me up and say hi!) somewhere that helps to keep me in the story while I write. I have fun taking pictures of my motivational writing spots at any given moment and posting them to Twitter. My SL mom and I host an inworld write-in every Sunday from 1 to 5 pm PST, at my Great Library on my park sim in SL... come join us!

I also now have my own radio station, The Best of Lady Elysa. You can even listen in on your phone using Tune-In app... or activate Tune-In on your Alexa app, then tell Alexa "Play the Best of Lady Elysa!"

Other hobbies include painting ceramics, loom beadwork, tooling leather, and, naturally, reading. My favorite authors are (not necessarily in any kind of order) Georgette Heyer, Anne McCaffrey, J.R.R. Tolkien and Dick Francis, followed closely by romance novels by Nora Roberts and the Carpathian series by Christine Feehan. And of course, I'm a total Harry Potter fan :) I've got the extended edition DVDs of Lord of the Rings and now and then indulge in a LotR marathon. I'm not so much on TV, but I do have an extensive movie collection on DVD for those rare times I get the urge, which mostly is at Christmas time when I watch all my old Christmas favorites. I'm always a sucker for animals, and my menagerie over the years has included horses, ferrets, a rabbit, a rat, a hamster, Maine Coon cats (thank you, Anne McCaffrey, in Ring of Fear!), any other kinds of cats, and once a foster husky, Socrates, rescued from an abusive sled dog operation that was closed down. I'm an alumni of the University of California Santa Barbara and the American University in Cairo, and I belong to Romance Writers of America (Desert Rose Chapter) and Mensa. I occasionally foster Maine Coon and ferret rescues.

I've traveled quite a bit and lived many places, including a year in Cairo, Egypt attending the American University in Cairo as an exchange student, and a year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia working at a hospital as a department secretary for Ob/Gyn, Orthopedics and Surgery (lots of expats left when the war started so I wound up with 3 bosses!). I made it through Desert Storm and the Northridge Quake, and I've tromped through chest-deep snow before dawn to guard the buffalo from slaughter in Montana. I'm a Vietnam-era vet; I was in the 9th Division stationed up at Ft. Lewis, Washington for several years, and I also did a short temporary assignment with NATO in Europe, which wasn't terrifically interesting. I've been a postal worker, a security guard, a legal secretary, and a wrangler/trail guide at a dude ranch. I've been the manager of a Greek delicatessen, owned a motorcycle and driven an 18-wheeler. I studied Arabic, which I still speak somewhat fluently, karate, tap dancing (briefly) and especially belly dancing. I was a folk dancer for many years and used to occasionally give classes in that. Now that I'm disabled, I'm unable to do any of these things anymore, of course. But I very much appreciate and consider myself lucky that I got to do so many things that many will never have a chance to do, and I try not to repine that I can't do them again/anymore (as the case may be). Instead, I am grasping with both hands the opportunity to have the time to follow my life-long dream of being a writer.

All this aside, a writer is who and what I am... a romance writer. I write what I know, and what I know is romance. Dozens of story lines and literally hundreds of characters live and breathe within the not-so-narrow confines of my imagination, and it is my joy and pleasure to bring them to life, to share them with others by writing their stories. I'm very fortunate in my daughter, Christina, who all through high school was very supportive of my writing. She brought me endless glasses of tea, was understanding when I suffered agonies over sentence structure, cheered me on when I'm on a roll, bragged to all her high school friends about her "writer" mom (and by the way is a marvelous brainstorming partner), and who had to learn to cook and do laundry in self defense. She's grown and graduated from college with a BA in Art and is married now... but she's still my best supporter and Brainstormer Extraordinaire and always has time to hear her mom's ideas and give feedback!




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Last Updated: 7/30/2018