On a dark and stormy morning (actually true), I was born in Baltimore. I started writing stories around age six. When I was seven, I attempted my first "murder" mystery. The scare quotes are there because no one actually died. I was far too polite a child to kill anyone or to refer to adults without an honorific like Mr. or Miss before their names. (You'll be pleased to know that Mr. Patrick, for instance, recovered quite nicely in the hospital.) Over the intervening years, I've lost that politeness toward characters. I've also moved out of Baltimore, but I remain in Maryland and it remains my city.