ABOUT TRACY DUNHAM
I should have known, when I was writing fiction stories in the third grade and sending them to our local newspaper, that I was going to end up as a writer. When my elementary school class was assigned a short story, I wrote two. With illustrations. My poor teachers.
I place the blame for my love affair with books squarely on my mother, who insisted I spend my summers reading Newbery Award winners. Without the distraction of television, I became a voracious reader and inevitably, that desire for a new story leads to making up one’s own tales. Probably every writer has a similar path, and it’s hell when we’re not writing the stories that come to us in the middle of the night, during a shower, or while weeding the garden.
I found this out in a tax class in law school. Miserable in the class, a requirement, I began writing a mystery in which judges are murdered one by one by a lawyer who doesn’t like their legal rulings. I not only survived that tax class, I was much happier. Law school, in fact, is filled with stories about people and their conflicts. That’s basically what case law is, and learning case law is the backbone of a legal education. As a lawyer with a general type of practice, I heard even more stories, and it was my job to unravel the messes and do my best to ameliorate the worst of the impossible ones. No one told me it’s seldom a happy ending when I was spending my three years in law school.
So I decided it was time to write endings the way I wanted them. Hence the second career with the written word. Even though this is a solitary profession, I do emerge, blinking in the daylight, from my office to head to the local track for local short track racing, and quite often I can be found at a NASCAR event. I love hearing from readers, have great admiration for librarians who safeguard the First Amendment when no one else will, and occasionally set up an umbrella on the beach, stack my to-be-read pile beside my chair, and spend a glorious time with the sound of surf and a new book.