Sex and the Single Witch
September 1, 2005
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Carly Alexander

Pseudonym for Roz Bailey.

When I was in second grade I wrote and illustrated my autobiography in a black and white marble notebook. At the time, not much had happened so I had to glorify a few events, like my thrill over Dad bringing home that prima donna of a stray cat (Sorry, Slinky) and I ran out of space when it came time to illustrate the seven members of my family, all with fat, inflated hands that rolled off the page. (Please, Mom, don't ever run those pictures by my therapist.)

So many years later, I'm still running out of space without a whole lot more to tell. Suffice it to say, I would still like to illustrate and inflate my parents and four siblings, Denise, Larry, Maureen and Jack, who know how to squeeze the most out of a moment (and the last drops out of a bottle of expensive cabernet.)

And I must thank my Mom for plucking my sister and me from grade school to ride the Wednesday special train to New York City, where we regularly proceeded to run out of cash shopping for fab clothing and eating appetizers at Maxwell's Plum so that we could enjoy the ambiance. Not to mention the annual December shopping trip during which the women in my family take Manhattan by storm (or by American Express.) Hugs and kisses to the ladies in the family for grooming me for such a fun pursuit. From the shopping trips with Granny in Detroit to the Broadway shows with Aunt Roz in New York and various other excursions with Mom and my sisters through galleries, shops, and eateries in Paris, London, Rome, Copenhagen, Berlin…is it any wonder that I'm a city girl and happy chick-lit writer?

But you say you want details?

Those pesky details. I grew up in suburban Maryland, on the periphery of Washington, D.C. politics and just down the beltway from the scenic renaissance overtaking the neighborhoods of Baltimore. Desperate to hop to a bigger pond, I attended Wagner College in Staten Island, New York, where I majored in music, then theater, then English. What can I say? I've got some pipes, but my father didn't have much confidence in my ability to sing away student loans.

After graduation I stayed in New York where I begged my way into an editorial assistant's desk at Simon & Schuster. Over the years I managed to climb the editorial ladder, despite a boss who persistently thunked my knuckles off each rung. (Had to share that!)

My first novel, written with a partner, was a teen romance that broke the mold with a gay character. After that I ghosted various teen books - including a few mysteries about a Titian-haired teen detective - and dabbled in free-lance editing. When my friend and esteemed editor John Scognamiglio teased me with the chance to write women's "chick-lit" fiction in the footsteps of Helen Fielding's walloping beauty Bridget Jones's Diary, I couldn't resist trying.

Here's to the Bridget in all of us; may we weigh less tomorrow, find love by Christmas, and always cherish our Urban Dysfunctional Family of Friends.

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