I have been a full-time freelance writer since 1987, working for trade and craft publications, and producing educational and training material for adults as well as high school students. I have edited fiction and non-fiction book-length works for the Oregon Historical Society Press, the Portland Japanese Garden, Northwest Alpacas, and award-winning urban fantasy writer, Devon Monk, among others. I review books for Gems & Gemology and Blue Ink Review. I write fiction under the name Liz Hartley.
For a number of years, my family owned a small jewelry manufacturing and supply business, and I earned both a Graduate Gemologist (GG) diploma and a Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (FGA) diploma. Because of this background, I’ve written frequently for jewelry industry publications, such as Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist, MJSA Journal, JCK, Art Jewelry, Professional Jeweler, and Gems & Gemology, on topics ranging from almost anything to do with gemstones and precious metals and jewelry manufacturing, to mining history, paleontology, and business.
I am fascinated with the physical and biological sciences and wildlife, and have written three science-related young adult books: The Greenhouse Effect; Death Trap: the Story of the La Brea Tar Pits; and Built for Speed: the Extraordinary and Enigmatic Cheetah. I’ve also written about light theory, earth evolution, singing dunes, gorillas in zoos, and Sumatran rhinos. I was a docent for five years at the Los Angeles Zoo.
As Liz Hartley, my novels revolve around gemstones and jewelry, which provide the perfect locus for romance and crime. I don’t make jewelry myself: My brother, John, an exceptional jeweler, took the torch out of my hand many years ago in order to prevent a conflagration the size of the Chicago fire. However, I have a deep and awestruck appreciation for those who do.
I love to travel and have written about my trips to Brazil, Namibia, South Africa, Greece, Istanbul, and London. I lived for 18 months in Kyoto, Japan, where I became a crazed sumo fan and studied the art of Japanese archery, kyūdō.
Although I live in Oregon, contrary to Northwest custom I drink tea, not coffee. When not working, I like to spend time in the studio painting or making altered books and artists’ books. I may also be found in the yard, trying to bring order out of chaos, or on the front porch swing planning the next project or simply reading.
Member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) since 1995.
“We write what you read.”