I grew up a writer, keeping journals as a child and reading everything I could get my hands on. After college I worked at writing and editing jobs, and was lucky enough to end up in Hong Kong working for United Press International. My next assignment was as bureau chief for UPI in New Delhi, India. I lived and worked in Asia for about ten years, before returning to work part time for The Washington Post editing news from Asia. In 1985 I returned to Asia to work on a literacy project in rural areas. I was captivated by the stories of the people of the Cholistan Desert on the border between Pakistan and India. Those stories were the basis for my first two novels: Shabanu Daughter of the Wind and its sequel, Haveli. A third book in this series was published in 2009, The House of Djinn.
Other novels followed Shabanu and Haveli, including Dangerous Skies, set on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, Shiva’s Fire, which is an exploration of Hindu mythology, The Green Dog: A Mostly True Story, a brief memoir, Under the Persimmon Tree, a story set in post-9/11 Afghanistan, and The House of Djinn, which is a story about the arranged marriage of two modern-day teenagers.
I am currently at work on an adult novel set in New York and Pakistan, and screenplays of Shabanu, Haveli, and The House of Djinn, which have been optioned by Equilibrium Entertainment. I often lecture on literacy, women in Islam, writing, my books, and the value of fiction. I plan the program for an unusual literature conference called The Gathering at Keystone College.
In my spare time I love gardening, hiking, kayaking, singing, reading, star-gazing, and talking to my friends about politics, literature, farming, music, religions, and just about anything else.