In books and film, I love to be mind-blown and heart-torn.
Current favorite author: Yann Martel
Current favorite movie: Goodbye Christopher Robin
Not long ago, I dug out my childhood memory box looking for a couple stories I remembered writing, wondering if I’d kept them. I had—as well as over a dozen others. I had forgotten how many I’d written, and how many of them were about animals.
I shouldn’t be surprised, though, because animals have always been in my heart. I earned a degree in biology and conducted wildlife behavior studies for the Forest Service and the MN Zoo. I developed materials for the zoo’s education department as well. After that, I chose the corporate world for more permanence, married, and raised two children, now grown. We’ve never been without one or more dogs, and if I wasn’t allergic to them, I’d have a cat, too!
When my empty nest left me searching for myself, I began writing, and I realize now that the draw has always been there, waiting inside for me to notice it.
Why historical nonfiction? I’d have to say it wasn’t a conscious plan; it’s just what knocks on my heart to come out. I’ve always been curious about the way things were, and history has a lot to tell us about the way things are. I feel my stories advocate for the voiceless, whose lives may not have been inherently spectacular, but nevertheless left a mark on humanity itself. These, along with the magical feeling of conceptualizing history and the treasure hunt of uncovering untold tidbits from time, are what drive my literary inspiration.
I hope my writing will cultivate in readers a similar curiosity about our world as well, one true story at a time.
South Africa’s UD Express, “U’hage’s world-famous baboon—now best-selling book”