I was born in Queens, NY to two children of Greek immigrants. My Dad was 100% Greek and my mom was 1/2 Greek and 1/2 Canadian French, and they were both raised in New York City. My first language was amalgamated with Greek, Canadian French, and New York slang English. It was quite a wild ride, needless to say. For an example, before I had known better, the first 10 years of my life I said turlit, not toilet.
About 4 or 5 years before I was born, my mom's dad, my popou, got my dad into the restaurant business. So, I was born into the business. I enjoyed going to the restaurants with my dad as I was growing up. I really enjoyed the years I did work in the business. But when I was growing up, I loved making up stories and telling them too..
From the time I was in the 6th grade on, my teachers began using my stories as examples on how to write. When my mom asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, before I could answer, my older sister, Judy, said, "The biggest liar that ever lived!" Actually, I wanted to be an astronaut or an astronomer, so I could work for NASA, but my counselor and Mom discouraged me because I was a woman back in those days.
My first major in college was botany, but my English and writing professors strongly recommended that I change my major to English with a writing minor. After much prayer, I did so. I see why now the Lord wanted me to write. It's a gift (talent) that He had given me. God wants us to use our gifts like in the parable of the talents. After all, He has given all of us our individual gifts to use.
I was raised in both the Roman Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church. In fact, I was baptized in both churches. My sister and I even went to Greek camp, Saint Sophia's Camp up on Big Bear mountain in California. In fact, we were the first group that had attended the camp when it first opened. We did have catechism and church services when we attended camp. But my family and I had Jesus in our heads, not in our hearts. My mom was the first in the family to find Jesus as her personal savior. With Mom's much faith filled prayers, I found Jesus as my Lord and Savior 40 years ago.