My passion is people. I think people are absolutely magnificent. Not the power-hungry heads of governments or churches or corporations who justify all kinds of horror if it suits their goals, but the rest of us. In spite of the awful things some human beings do in order to control other human beings, most people are peacefully going about their own business, and I applaud that. Families are the backbone of any civilization, and parenting is the most important job in the world.


That same passion and respect for people makes me a strong supporter of the right of any two adults who wish to combine their lives and property to do so without anybody judging them or erecting laws to make their lives more difficult. It seems to me that people who go around condemning how or who somebody else loves would better mind their own business and spend that time showing love to their own spouses or lovers.


As a polio survivor, I’m zealous about ADA laws being implemented and intelligently observed. I try to keep a sense of humor about architectural barriers, but curb cuts and gentle ramps aren’t so difficult to install, and they make life a lot easier for many people. And does anybody know the purpose of those metal bars attached to the walls in handicap-accessible bathrooms? I used to think they might be there in case somebody in a wheelchair decided to rinse out her panty hose, but that can’t be it.


My favorite story of all time is Rudyard Kipling’s The Elephant’s Child. When my two sons were little, I would beg them to let me read that story to them, and sometimes they would indulge me. When my five grandchildren were small, I made a tape of myself reading it so they could listen to it when I wasn’t there. They indulged me too. I still get a little bubble of delight at the 'satiable Elephant's Child saying to all his dear families, “I am going to the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, to find out what the Crocodile has for dinner.”


My favorite scene in all literature is from another Rudyard Kipling story, The Jungle Book, where the wolf pack has met to look over the new cubs so they would know their own from an enemy, and Father Wolf pushes Mowgli into the center.


Come to think of it, I suppose those beloved stories about the intelligence and nobility of animals, coupled with my passion for families and children has inevitably led to writing the  Dixie Hemingway Mystery series. The relationship between people and pets is one of the highest examples of unconditional love, and Dixie Hemingway is a professional pet sitter who values her family and the pets she takes care of above all else.


Okay, we’re almost finished with this pseudo-bio.


I think the best writing being done today gets the least amount of respect. Good writing isn’t determined by the subject matter, but by how well the writer keeps the reader fascinated and anxious. With few exceptions, that means good mysteries, horror, and sci-fi. I’m proud to be a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime.


My favorite quote is from the 14th century Sufi poet, Hafiz: “Sweetheart, O Sweetheart, you are God in drag!”


Okay, that’s my bio. Now you know the “real me.” I hope we meet someday and that you’ll tell me about the real you.

In memory of Blaize Clement

Author and creator of the Dixie Hemingway Mystery Series

1934-2011