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To find characters to illustrate my first family saga, I cut out models from the Sears catalogue. I was in fourth grade, but it was a start. In seventh grade I wrote a melodrama about two orphan sisters, one of whom was pregnant. There was also a story about a runaway girl with the unlikely name of Strawberry and one about mistaken identities and an evil blind date. My supportive, but vaguely concerned parents, sighed with relief when I announced I was going to write children's books. They bought me an electric typewriter and crossed their fingers, but somehow PASSION'S BRIDE came out. No one was really surprised.
I graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry and some notion that I would do marine research. Years of competitive swimming didn't help me anticipate seasickness. A career change seemed in order. I began working with adolescents and families, first as a childcare worker and later, after graduating from West Virginia University with a master's degree in counseling, as a therapist. I am currently the executive director of a child caring/mental health agency and find my work and my writing often compliment each other. One grounds me in reality and the other offers a break from it.
I chose my pen name because none of my college friends ever called me Joanne and Goodman is simply a loose translation of Dobrzanski. Two careers. Two names. One makes the other possible. When both sides of my brain are talking, it's a party!
Jo Goodman lives with her family in Colliers, West Virginia.