I've noticed a pattern in my novels. Both of them. And the one I'm beginning.
I want characters who are a little strange, who have personal issues. And social issues, and intellectual issues. In "What Do They Do?" the main character is a bit Aspergersish; intellectually he's trying to write a book explaining a rare language spoken by a few thousand indigenous people in the Ecuadorian Amazon; he finds himself involved in the indigenous resistance to the state-owned oil companies destroying the jungle. In the second novel, set in the 1970s, it's a lot harder to disentangle three threads, as the feminists have taught us. There are two narrators: Marin, who has always done everything you are supposed to, and Alexxis, who has always done whatever she pleased. When Marin's marriage to a successful lawyer comes apart because of his love for another man, she has to re-think sexual identity, the family, and class issues. When her children are taken away from her by Child Protective Services because she went to jail for three months for a DUI, Alexxis has to re-think what "taking care of children" means to her. In some way neither of them has taken responsibility for herself. The novel explores their efforts to figure out their roles as women. Intellectually Marin confronts feminism through literary criticism. Alexxis' intellectual growth is more about rationalizing the emotional world she has lived in. But once we get into gender, it's hard to tell the personal/political/intellectual pieces apart.
As for the rest of my life, I've published short stories and poetry in Moving Out, Moving to Antartica, Third Coast, New York Quarterly.
I have PhD in English, specialized in rhetoric and composition, and I've edited an academic journal, Language and Learning Across the Disciplines. I've raised six children, not all of them biologically mine, one of whom just told me I'm the best mother he ever had. I wonder what the others were like? I married an Ecuadorian and having two cultures in my life has been interesting. I'm grateful that I speak Spanish fluently. Speaking two languages gives you two lives for the price of one.