I wrote my first novella when I was in fourth grade: the tale of a boy (my father) and a dog (his beagle, since instead of agreeing to get me a dog of my own, he would tell me stories about his). I continued to write through my teens, when a novel of mine called “Kelly’s Ghost” gave me my first near-miss with a publisher.
At 17, I left my Canadian hometown of Peterborough, Ontario, to spend a year as an exchange student in Australia. I lived with four different host families and discovered that every family houses an entire culture of its own. I returned home and took up tae kwon do (I got my black belt seven years later). A humorous essay I wrote for English class appeared in the local paper and helped win me a partial four-year scholarship to Queen’s University. It was renewable only on the condition that I maintain an A average in my chosen major. I managed to do this, but barely, since I refused to sacrifice constant watching of movies or crushing on boys or bonding with girlfriends or, uh, skipping of classes. My parents were proud.
I taught ESL in Japan for a year and finished the manuscript of a novel called Tender, then Sway, then The Last Taboo. Now I simply call it my PGTLNA (my Post-Graduate Transgressive Literary Novel Attempt). Although it was the novel that landed me my first agent, and drew comments (some of them positive) from editors at the major publishing houses, it did not get published. This is for the best.
At this time I had moved to California to pursue a romantic relationship with Elon Musk. We were living in a rather squalid apartment in Mountain View, shared with an ongoing succession of roommates and a miniature dachshund named Bowie (after David). We rode around in a vintage Jaguar that was constantly breaking down. I continue to have conflicted feelings toward Jaguars. I love them and I really, really hate them.
After Elon sold his first company, Zip2, we moved to Palo Alto. He co-founded Paypal and I began work on a dark urban fantasy novel called Bloodangel. I also became pregnant with our first child, a boy named Nevada Alexander who died of SIDS at 10 weeks of age. I still can’t really talk or write about this. His death coincided with the Paypal IPO and our move to Los Angeles. Through the use of IVF, I had five children (twins and triplets) in four years. I also sold three novels — Bloodangel, Uninvited, and Lord of Bones.
Elon and I filed for divorce in June of ’08.
Now I live in Bel Air and share custody of my five sons with Elon, who runs a rocket company (Space X) and an electric car company (Tesla). I am writing a novel called The Decadents, about a young dancer who infiltrates a closely knit group of privileged thirtysomethings in Los Angeles with unexpected and explosive results.
I am 37. The best is yet to come.