Two If by Sea (Mitchard)

Author Bio
Birth—December 10, 1956
Where—Chicago, Illinois, USA
Education—University of Illinois (no degree)
Currently—lives in Brewster, Massachusetts

Jacquelyn Mitchard is an American journalist and novelist. She is the author more than 25 books for adults, teens, and children. She is best known for The Deep End of the Ocean, which on September 17, 1996, was the first selection for Oprah's Book Club.

Born and raised in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois, Mitchard's father was a plumber, from Newfoundland, Canada, and her mother a hardware store clerk, a competitive horsewoman, and a member of the Lac du Flambeau Chippewa Cree tribe.

Mitchard studied creative writing for three semesters under Mark Costello (author of The Murphy Stories) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1979, she became a newspaper reporter, eventually achieving a position as lifestyle columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper. Her weekly column, "The Rest of Us: Dispatches from the Mother Ship," appeared in 125 newspapers nationwide until she retired it in 2007.

Mitchard is also a contributing editor for More (magazine) and is featured regularly in Reader's Digest, Good Housekeeping, Hallmark, Real Simple and other publications. Her nonfiction work includes the 1986 memoir Mother Less Child and essays in more than 30 anthologies.

In 1980, Mitchard married Dan Allegretti, a reporter for The Capital Times; the couple had three children and a daughter from Allegretti's previous marriage. In 1993, after 13 years of marriage, Allegretti died of cancer. He was only 45.

The idea for a novel first came to Mitchard in a dream in the summer of 1993, and after her husband died, she began writing what would become The Deep End of the Ocean. All the while, Mitchard continued to work—as a freelance writer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and in a part-time job in public relations for the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Deep End was published in 1996. Bolstered by being featured by Oprah, the novel sold close to 3 million copies by May of 1998. It was listed on the New York Times Bestseller for 29 weeks—13 of those as #1. The book was adapted to film in 1999, starring Michelle Pfeiffer.

All of Mitchard's other novels have been bestsellers and garnered critical acclaim—particularly for The Most Wanted, Cage of Stars and The Breakdown Lane. The Most Wanted was nominated for Britain's Orange Prize for Fiction, and Cage of Stars for Britain's Spread The Word Prize.

In 2004 Mitchard entered the field for young readers. That year she published two books—Baby Bat's Lullaby (a picture book) and Starring Prima! The Mouse of the Ballet Jolie (a middle-school book). In 2005 she released Rosalie, My Rosalie: The Tale of a Duckling (middle-school), and in 2007 she issued Ready, Set, School! (a second picture book).

Personal life
Mitchard and local thespian J. Patrick performed together in the theatre play Love Letters by A.R. Gurney at the Performing Arts Center at Oregon High School in 1999. She performed as Mrs. Cratchit in the CTM production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

Mitchard lives in Brewster, Massachusetts on Cape Cod with her husband, Christopher Brent, and their children.

In 2011, Mitchard wrote that she and her husband had lost millions of dollars and most of their possessions to investment advisor Trevor Cook, who was convicted of operating a Ponzi Scheme.

One Writer's Place
Hoping to create a place for women and men in disadvantaged circumstances created by divorce or widowhood, in 2007 Mitchard founded One Writer's Place, a residence dedicated to healing through creativity. Though a successful endeavor, One Writer's Place was closed in the spring of 2011.

Adult and young adult fiction

1996 - The Deep End of the Ocean
1998 - The Most Wanted
2001 - A Theory of Relativity
2003 - Christmas, Present
2003 - Twelve Times Blessed
2005 - The Breakdown Lane
2006 - Age of Stars
2007 - Still Summer
2007 - Now You See Her
2008 - All We Know of Heaven
2009 - No Time to Wave Goodbye
2011 - Second Nature: A Love Story
2013 - What We Lost In the Dark
2016 - Two If by Sea

(Author bio adapted fom Wikipedia. Retrieved 3/24/2016.)

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