Born 1954 in Ithaca, New York, home of Cornell University, where my father taught Russian history. My mother was a WASP New York socialite whose father was independently wealthy. (Like both John Kerry and both Bushes, my grandfather was a member of the Skull and Bones Society). Dad was a Russian-speaking Jew from the Ukraine, who grew up in Poland and Belgium, joined the French resistance in WWII, was interned in a labor camp and escaped through Spain, and from there made his way to the United States.
My first year of school was at a French school in Washington D.C. in 1959-1960. During this time I taught myself to read (with help from my mother) and began to speak French.
In 1961 my Dad got an offer from the University of Washington and so I found myself in Seattle, where I've lived since. In 1964-65, my father took a year's sabbatical in Paris. I attended the Ecole Alsacienne (sixth grade), which is a few blocks from the Luxembourg Gardens.
I got kicked out of Lakeside the year before Bill Gates arrived. The charges were "corrupting the school with talk of sex and drugs" and "bringing down eighth grade morale." After that I went to public schools, starting with Meany Junior High, my favorite year. Instead of being around spoiled rich boys, I got to hang out with girls. (Lakeside went co-ed a couple of years later.)
Dropped out of high school and got a GED, eventually finished college with a degree in history. Spent about ten years in a Buddhist cult, Nichiren Shoshu or Soka Gakkai. Married 1978, divorced 1984. Have worked at a few clerical jobs; towards the end of 2000 I returned to writing, after sporadic ventures into the craft as various points in time.
At the moment, I am writing full-time (or as close to full-time as I can push myself to do).