In the Jewelry Biz for a Long, Long Time
(and now writing Jeweltown Murder Mysteries)
I've been involved with jewelry since I was an infant. There I am, pictured at the right, wandering the streets of Detroit, probably sometime in 1957. My looks have changed dramatically, but I still have the same bad hair. : ) My jewelry career began as a child in the back room of my dad's store in Detroit, and later as a front-counter glass wiper. (I think my dad gave me a dollar for my hard work, and I was thrilled.) later, when the store moved to Southfield, Michigan, I was twelve years old and progressed to being counter help and in time moved on to taking inventory and even buying. That was a heady experience. I was given a budget (usually in the hundreds; I was not the head buyer) and I could pick and choose from trays and trays of jewelry what I thought our customers would buy. Another thrill!
Moving on up to jewelry design.
I later moved up the jewelry food chain and drew some sketches and helped customers redesign their jewelry. (The hard work of actually crafting those designs went to the bench jeweler.) The pinnacle was when, after graduating college, I took the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) Diamond and Colored Gemstone courses and became capable of appraising jewelry. This part of my career was short-lived. At the ripe age of twenty-eight, I left the family business and started my freelance writing career. This ultimately led to writing newsletters and ads for jewelry stores across the country. I kept up this work until 2008, when I left jewelry, again, to write, always to write. I've written two poetry books, as well as two poetry web sites (see my bio page), and many of my poems have been published in anthologies and text books around the world. In 2010, I started to work part-time managing the finances at my husband's company. Quite the yin-yang from the artsy-fartsy world of creative writing. I love the dichotomy; it works for me.
Jeweltown Murder Mystery.
When I decided to write my first mystery book, Deadly Diamonds, it made the most sense for all the characters to revolve around a jewelry store. Conventional wisdom says to write what you know. I set the business locally. (I've lived near Royal Oak for the past thirty-seven years, so this lovely downtown was a logical choice.) And, of course, the main character's life revolves around... jewelry. I haven't been able to shake this connection. I still love jewelry (most women do), and other than all the editing and rewrites, I'm having the time of my life writing this series. The longer I live, the more I see that everything seems to come full circle. So here I am, still writing about jewelry and still trying to deal with all that bad hair. : )