About Linda

(The short-ish version)


 A one-time vacuum cleaner jockey, Linda is now a children's book writer who can not live without her morning cup of coffee, her MacBook or a stack of books by her bedside. She was born in New York City but has since lived in various US hotspots such as New Jersey, Florida and Kentucky. For the past 15 years she has been based in Europe calling Austria, Sweden and now The Netherlands home.

Linda learned to read  -- upside down! --  at an early age and this view of the word has stayed with her ever since. Her childhood was spent taming her unruly curly hair (and I mean CURLY...and did I mention it was RED?), dancing ballet and writing non-award winning poetry.

When she was young, her literary influences were Judy Blume, Madeline L'Engles, E.L.Koningsburg, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Laura Ingalls Wilder and the long forgotten author of the "B is for Betsy" books. Today her literary influences are too numerous and subconscious to name. 

When Linda is not writing (which, face it, is most of the time), she spends her days as a Media & Public Affairs Officer at a United Nations-affiliated organisation. She enjoys photography, making pottery, reading, biking in her neighborhood, chasing tennis balls on the court, playing with her family and lounging in front of the TV.

Linda now lives in Wassenaar -- a one windmill town on the edge of the sea - in a typical narrow Dutch townhouse with her Swedish husband, Jan, their 13-year-old daughter, Maja, and heir sometimes dog, Nino. As a New Yorker living in Wassenaar, she is thankful for Bagel Alley, the neighborhood hang-out.

 

 {Inquiring minds what to know more?}

The LONG VERSION 

The Riverdale Years

I was born in New York City to Sondra Lee Mazie and Mark Ravin. My sister Gail was already waiting for me when I got home to our apartment in Riverdale (which is just a hop, skip and a jump from Manhattan.) Sondra was a teacher but today she is an interior designer (a great one!) and Mark was a doctor -- an anesthesiologist (and a great one!). In fact, one of my first words  was "anesthesiologist".




 

 

The New Jersey Years

Soon after my birth, my parents shocked our New York relatives by emigrating to the far off lands of New Jersey. This was another world. We moved from our apartment to a house in the woods on Bayberry Street. We lived in Watchung, New Jersey which was an Indian Reservation -- home of the Lenni-Lenape Indians. Because of the scariness of the big, dark woods -- I rarely went out to play (nor did my sister, who at the age of 7 was already a serious pianist) which probably had my parents wondering why they even bothered to move our family to 'the country'. In fact, one of my all-time favorite activities was riding the vacuum cleaner! (And I would still rather do that than actually have to use one!)

 

The Florida Years

When I was seven, we moved to Gainsville, Florida. I wasn't much more outdoorsy there either -- having encountered a moving stick in our backyard which turned out to be a snake. Here I am pictured with my bunny, "Cookie".

I was also so fair skinned that I was barred from being in the pool (or outdoors) between 11am - 3pm. But these were wonderful hours for reading - or listening to books on records. One of my favorite books at this time was 'The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler'  by E.L. Koningsburg about a brother and sister who run-away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. This seemed like the most romantic thing I could imagine - and I longed to join those two while they bathed in the museum fountains and collected the coins, or solved the mystery of the statue.  

The Kentucky Years

In the middle of 6th grade, we moved to Lexington Kentucky. This was a tough move for all of us -- I didn't feel like I fit in with my new classmates and at times even had a hard time understanding the southern accent. My comfort was pursuing ballet, music and writing. I danced ballet with the Lexington Ballet Company for a few years -- always in the corp de ballet -- and learned about the great ballet stories of Coppelia, Swan Lake, Giselle, Les Sylphide and The Nutcracker. I even got to name a new ballet that featured Victorian photographs coming to life, "Say Cheese!".

Through High School I marched in our Blue Devil Marching band as a flutist -- and as a flag girl -- which is a strange marching band phenomenon that involved white go-go boots, a plumed cowboy hat and a very large flag. I also worked on the school newspaper The Devil's Advocate as a reporter and wrote stories for our literary magazine.

The New York City Years

My college years found me back in New York City at Barnard College, Columbia University where I majored in English. I lived on the upper west side, only a few blocks from where my Mom grew up and from where my Grandmother lived.  I lapped up city living and adored all-things Columbia -- the quad, Tom's Dinner, my dorm, my professors.

After college I worked for a few advertising agencies before heading to New York University's business school -- earning my MBA in marketing -- all the while writing stories (on a brand new gadget called a personal computer!).  After business school I worked at Tiffany & Co. -- the luxury shop on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. I loved working among all the sparkly and beautiful items.

 

The Europe Years

While I was in business school I spent a semester at the Stockholm School of Economics. It was there that I met my husband, Jan. When Jan took a job in Vienna, Austria, I left New York City to join him in the heart of Austria. I soon started working at UN-affiliated organisations as a writer and marketing consultant.

In 1998 our daughter Maja was born and two years later, after living in Vienna for more than five years, we moved to Sweden. Stockholm is a magical city made of many islands. I loved living there -- where the summer days stretched endlessly into the next days. We still spend every summer in Sweden.

Three years ago our careers took us to The Netherlands -- land of tulips, cheese, bicycles and everything the color orange! Even though Holland is a very small country (the size of New Jersey!), it has a very special character that we love.

Through all the these changes -- one thing that stays the same is my love of writing and reading.