Is that your real name?
Yes. I was raised in the middle of Indiana by people who quoted the Nearings during the Watergate years. They named me for the heroine in the Jessamyn West novels, The Friendly Persuasion and Except for Thee and Me. I was born to the surname.
What do you do, exactly?
I am a writer, teacher, and traveler.
Formative moments and the basics. Go.
1. I grew up with a newspaper. My parents ran and operated our local newspaper out of my childhood home and I began writing for it at age eight. I started with an advice column under a pseudonym, Dear Aunt Sarah. On slow weeks, I occasionally demolished journalistic integrity by writing both the letters and answers.
2. I was raised on mysteries, English Lit, soap operas, and PBS. Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot were my childhood babysitters. Nancy Drew was my best friend (and you can guess how well that worked out).
3. My grandparents took each of their grandchildren on a road trip the year that grandchild turned thirteen. I chose, as one does, the spiritual pilgrimage to Prince Edward Island and the home of Anne Shirley. Along the way, I devoured my grandparents’ stash of Jackie Collins, Robert Ludlum, and Tom Clancy. A joke about innocence to experience (at least of the bookish kind) is in there somewhere, but the truth remains that my signposts have nearly always been literary.
4. Travel has been an enormous part of my life. In both my solo travels and as a family, I’ve been lucky enough to live and work in Silicon Valley, Europe, and Central Asia. We’ve been all over the United States and Europe as a family, traveling from Iceland to Denmark, from Italy to Mexico. The unexpected has been our mainstay (you can read about our time based in the UK here). In fact, we've recently moved back to NorCal from Austin, Texas.
5. Most days you’ll find me writing, reading, hiking, yoga-ing, working with writers and yogis of all ages, planning adventures/adventuring, and looking at old metal. I sold my beloved 1973 Benz 280SEL- don't ask- and am always on the lookout for the next not-too-rusted love of my life. I'll let you call shotgun.
Author Photo: Mona Gohil