IMG_6304I was born under the sun sign of Scorpio on a Friday night in Oak Park, Illinois. When my mom arrived at the hospital in hard labor, the doctor anesthetized her and took off for a cocktail party. His plan — to have a few drinks, come back, and extract the baby with giant tongs — was thwarted by my swift arrival.

My formative years were spent in nightclubs and courtrooms, alternately tagging along with my mom, a lounge singer, and my dad, a personal injury lawyer, on their individual quests for fame and fortune. While other kids were making macaroni necklaces, I was on the road, studying  the fine art of false eyelash application and hair teasing. Kindergarten was a welcome change.  Having done Vegas by the time I was seven, I did not always fit in with the other kids. A love of learning, and the seeds planted at Francis W. Parker School in Chicago, allowed me to grow.

My unconventional beginning paved the way to an obvious destination: Hollywood.  The only surprise is how long it took to get there.  After graduating from Northwestern University, and working for a few years at NBC News, I earned my M.F.A. from University of Southern California.  I wrote for the screen, both big and small, then took a hiatus to craft a slightly more conventional narrative for my own children.  Now I write flash fiction, short stories, essays, and novels.

My work for young adults can be found at Zara Rose Gray*