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April's thoughts about writing, life, and junk food

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14 April
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Who am I?
For the purposes of this blog, the main thing I am is a writer. I'm lucky enough to have been a published writer since 1999. I am many other things - a mom, a wife, a runner, a friend. Most of all, I'm a person who loves books. I write books, I read books, I review books for the Oregonian, and I talk about books. If someone would pay me to read books all day (and not do anything else, like review or edit them), I would never move from my couch except to put another CD in the CD player or grab a fresh bag of Doritos. Fortunately, no one has yet made this offer.

I like talking about writing and gossiping about publishing, and having a blog gives me an outlet for that.

What have I written?
Lots of things, all of them mysteries and thrillers for adults and young adults. In 2014, my 16th and 17th books came out. One was The Body in the Woods, which is Junior Library Guild selection. The other was A Deadly Business, the second in a mystery series co-written with Fox-TV legal analyst Lis Wiehl.

My books have been published in French, Japanese, Dutch, Spanish, Polish, Turkish, and German. They have been short-listed for the Agatha, the Anthony, and the Oregon Book Award. (Mostly with my first book, because there are lots of "best first" awards. Unfortunately, there aren't any "best second book" or "best fifth book" awards.) Girl, Stolen has been on nine state lists.

Where am I?
In Portland, Oregon. (I have a writer friend who lives in Portland, Maine, and the next time we are at a conference we plan to wear T-shirts that say "Bi-coastal and Proud!). I live in a 1918 house that requires about $400 of unexpected repairs every month. When I'm not in the house, I might be running the hills in Southwest Portland (and taking many, many breaks to "check my pulse"). Or I might be at a kung fu or Brazilian jiujitsu class.

I blog on most Mondays and Thursdays.

I make up for a peaceful childhood in an intact home by hurting and killing fictional characters. There was one detour on my path to destruction: when I was 12 I sent a short story about a six-foot tall frog who loved peanut butter to Roald Dahl. He liked it so much he arranged to have it published in an international children's magazine. By the time I was in my 30s, I had come to my senses and started writing about hit men, drug dealers, serial killers, and evil boot camps for troubled teens.

Feel free to email me, friend me, or send me a stack of small unmarked bills.

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