I grew up in California, where I wrote snippets of stories and passed them to my friends during class. My teachers pretended not to notice and only confiscated my stories a couple times.
I left writing behind to pursue a bunch of engineering degrees (B.S. Aerospace Engineering, M.S. Mechanical Engineering, Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering) and work everywhere from NASA to NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) to a little Venice Beach restaurant called The Green Bean (I was the bookkeeper). I've designed aircraft engines, studied global warming, and held elected office (as a school board member). Now that I write novels, my business card says "Rocket Scientist and Author," and I don't have to sneak my notes anymore.
Which is too bad.
All that engineering comes in handy when dreaming up dystopian future worlds or mixing science with fantasy to conjure slightly plausible inventions. For my stories, of course. Just ignore that stuff in the basement.
My middle grade boys clamor for more middle grade books with magic and gadgets and less teen novels with kissing. Unfortunately for them, I enjoy writing both.
I write from the Chicago suburbs with my three boys, two cats, and one husband. Which, it turns out, is exactly as much as I can handle.