I'ma timid driver. I’m a nervous flier, even on a commercial jet.(This scenes with Raven's adventures in Mundane
air travel in Raven's Wing are based
on my own personal aversion.) You couldn't pay me enough to get on a small
With this background, you might be
surprised that one of my childhood heroes was Amelia Earhart.
Part of the appeal, of course, was
the mystique of her last flight and how she disappeared without a trace. I was one of those kids who was all about myths,
legends, and mysteries. Stonehenge. Nessie. UFOs. The Bermuda Triangle.
But Amelia (in my child-mind, we
were always on a first-name basis), Amelia was far more to me than another
mystery. She was a woman who did, a woman who dared. She ignored all those who said a woman's place was in the
home, who said that women were inherently less capable, that real ladies don’t
go adventuring. She set records. Congress awarded her a medal for her aerial
courage and pioneering spirit.
I grew up in a very traditional Catholic family that believed in separate roles
for men and women. I went to a Catholic school that tried to instill in me the
feminine virtues of mild manners and modesty.
Amelia and women like her showed me
another way to be. I galloped racehorses in high school. I handled birds of
prey in college. I've shot a pistol and a longbow, and I've thrown javelin from
the back of a moving horse. The unfortunately early onset if arthritis may have
slowed me down a bit, but, damn, I had fun while I could.
And a tiny bit of Amelia's spirit
lives on in my characters. Catherine Fairchild from my Werewolves and Gaslight
series never listens to the people who would tell her what a lady can and can't