People often ask authors where they get their ideas from. Before the idea for the Invisible Woman series hit me, I felt the same. But when this idea did hit me just after a run one day in sunny Sherman Oaks, California in the fall of 2000, a shock ran through my body and I stopped in my tracks. I knew my life had changed forever in that moment. I resisted the initial idea as too radical for about nine months. In June of 2001 I finally gave in and quickly filled a notebook as I began writing Cat’s story. I chose Afghanistan as the first place for her to go because I wanted to put her in the most dangerous place on the planet for women, my metric was maternal mortality and, at the time, Afghanistan had the highest maternal mortality rate in the world. I couldn’t find much about what life was like for women in Afghanistan but three months later, on September 11, 2001, everything changed. The world’s focus turned once again to this small, impoverished yet beautiful country that has somehow drawn me in and captured my heart with the bravery of its people and especially its women.
An Invisible Woman in Afghanistan was published in 2015, I’m working on the second in the series (An Invisible Woman in Tamil Nadu). I’ve also published a short non-fiction “thought-piece,” The Value Economy: Thriving Together at the End of the World of Work, and recently started a website, CountingtheKilowatts.com, which grew out of my Worldat100.org blog and focuses on measuring the current astronomical growth of renewable energy on our planet.
I live in the old farmhouse I grew up in in my upstate New York hometown. I love the natural landscape here and am committed to preserving as much of it as possible. I believe in creating a new way of living in harmony with this landscape – making a home that is sustainable, comfortable and beautiful, buying locally made, quality food and goods, and building and supporting both global and local community.