Wait, there's more. She has a master's in marine biology from Scripps, once wrote comic books for Walt Disney Productions, and created a better scientific computation mousetrap between teaching classes at ASU's Center for Environmental Studies.
Then she decided, "Aw, what the hell! I think I'll sit down for a few hours and write a New York Times bestseller." (Okay, not really. She toiled as a freelancer for 15 years before tackling long form, but we still think she's a smarty-pants.)
Gabaldon's first book-length project was named Outlander, a moody tale about an 18th-century Scotsman and his time-traveling wife, Claire. That book blossomed into five more so far. The Outlander Series, as it's known, is the historical fiction/romance version of Harry Potter, and is idol-worshipped in much the same way by the author's loyal legions. Her latest in the series, Outlander, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, was published in 2006 by Bantam Dell. And her latest novel, Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade the second entry in her "Lord John Grey" series was published in August by Delacorte Press.
The Flagstaff native lives in Scottsdale with her husband, Douglas. We're hoping he has a robust self-image.
"I tell people it's a love story," Nulick says. "It's about people who get obsessed with other people in ways that are unhealthy, plus there's kind of a riff on schizophrenia in there."
Brande and Meyer write books for young adults. There's another notable local writer who sets her sights a little lower, age-wise at least. Barbara Park created the character Junie B. Jones, a little girl who as in her fictional home and kindergarten/first-grade classrooms inspires both love and dread among her followers.
Thing is, Junie B. is a first-class brat. She's not rotten to the core, she's just a troublemaker and she's got bad grammar (well, the grammar of a kindergartener), which is the real sticking point for a lot of parents and teachers, who have raised such a ruckus about her they made the pages of the New York Times, not long ago.
We're sticklers for proper talk (in fact, we've been known to "fix" Junie's errors as we read them to our own 6-year-old), but we're also here to say that we loooooooove Junie B. Jones. The reason is simple. Our kid loves her. She'll pick Junie B. over TV, for crying out loud. How often does that happen in your house?
So keep up the good work, Barbara Park! (A little bird tells us you're just as mischievous as your character, so maybe you get a kick out of all the controversy.) We hope Junie B. makes it to second grade before our kid does, so we can continue to follow her antics 'til we're ready for Meyer and Brande with some early Judy Blume tossed in for good measure, in between.
A growing handful of lucky drivers have seen what is certainly the best advertising ploy of 2007: IKEA's promotion of their new catalog includes a black truck (actually not made of compressed wood) with a glass, greenhouse-like bed that features an entire bedroom.
Our sources tell us the experts at IKEA bolted down "the lighter objects" (i.e., all the objects), so as to keep them from shifting during the bedroom's eye-catching jaunt about the Valley. The truck amounts to a driving glass bubble, magnifying the company's product and reminding all gazers to pick up the new IKEA catalog. For this we give our "well done" to our favorite cardboard furniture factory.
Since the chances of this dream theater being built are as likely as the Cardinals winning the Lombardi trophy, our celluloid thirst is gonna have to be slaked by the "Midnite Movie Mamacita," Andrea Beesley-Brown. Having nursed a lifelong love affair with sleazy cinema since her teenage years, the 28-year-old native New Zealander has brought the best (or worst, depending on how you look at it) in B-movies to Valley audiences over the past two years. The second Friday of every month, Beasley hosts "Revenge of the B-Movie Babes" at the Paper Heart, which has featured a host of gory slasher and horror titles, while over at the Chandler Cinema, on the last Friday of the month, she presents "Grindhouse Redux," a double-feature pairing of a seedy sexploitation flick like Jailbait Babysitter with a carnage-laden film such as Death Race 2000.
Save a seat for us, Andrea; we'll bring the popcorn.
Long story short: The films, in general, play to more mature audiences, though the city of Tempe will occasionally throw neighborhood nuclears a G-rated bone. As for environment, we don't mean the surroundings, however charming the Sixth Street/Mill Avenue microregion might be. We're talking about the City's laudable "green" policy of encouraging attendees to get to the park via alternative means of transportation: bicycle, skateboard, foot, or shopping carts for the residence-challenged. Only in Tempe.