For as long as I can remember I’ve dreamed of being an author, the same way some little kids dream of being ballerinas or Major Leaguers. Well, I don’t pirouette, and I sure can’t hit a ball, but from time to time I do come up with a pretty good metaphor.
My life has two parts: the first in Canada, where I grew up, and the second in the United States, where I’ve lived for twenty years. In Toronto, I attended the Royal Conservatory of Music as part of my parents’ plan to make me a concert pianist. (That didn’t work out.) I graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in psychology. (Didn’t pursue that either.) I landed instead in public relations, which gave me a chance to write creatively every day, as well as liaise with press, foreign diplomats, corporate investors and the public.
Since relocating to the States, I’ve been published in local, regional and national media – newspapers, magazines, websites, and even a poetry journal. A feature I wrote on survivors of the M.S. St. Louis, a German ocean liner carrying scores of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe, earned an Award of Excellence from the Society of Professional Journalists. For my leadership role in several community-wide charitable projects I received the prestigious A. O. Samuels Young Leadership Award… sort of like the Oscar for volunteering in my neck of the woods.
Did I mention my neck of the woods is Connecticut? So literally, woods. My husband, a businessman, and I have three children, a daughter who lives in New York City, a son graduating this spring from college, and a sophomore in high school. All three are smart and strong and gorgeous and yes, I’m doing the braggy mom thing, but this is my page, so I can.
Our unofficial fourth child is an Aussiedoodle named Moose… he’s the cutest part of the family.
When did my love of story-telling begin? I’m pretty sure it started one summer night years ago, as I sat by a camp bonfire and listened to a counselor tell a ghost story, The Monkey’s Paw, which made my heart pound and my imagination run wild. The memory still makes me shiver.
Now, I’m thrilled to share my first book with the world. THE CRATE: A Story of War, a Murder and Justice is the true story of a gruesome crime that involved my family: back in 2010, we discovered a wooden crate hidden in the dark, dank underbelly of our cottage in Muskoka, Canada, a stunning region of majestic forests and glittering lakes. The crate contained a horror for which we weren’t prepared.
The discovery left us reeling, of course. But more than anything, it traumatized my parents; for them, our cottage was a safe haven, a refuge from violence. You see, my parents survived the Holocaust, and this murder, this singular act of evil, dredged up their memories of concentration camps, of death marches, of starving in ghettos.
As a child of survivors, I’ve recounted their miraculous journeys, along with my grandfather’s – a stunning twist of fate set him apart from the Six Million – in numerous print articles, lectures, and keynote addresses to the American Red Cross.
How could I not write all this down? All these stories need to be preserved.
I think the themes of the book resonate today more than ever: of refugees and the need for sanctuary. Of leaving behind loved ones and struggling to make a fresh start. Of racial hatred and domestic violence. Most of all, THE CRATE examines our seemingly limitless capacity for evil… but also, our capacity for good.
I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to email me! Or better yet, come visit me in Muskoka. You can find me there every summer, watching the sun set from my rowboat.