I was born in 1959 and raised on a remote tea plantation in Assam, India. Tea culture was still very British colonial back then, and we lived in a massive bungalow with liveried servants and acres of rolling grounds surrounded by dense rain forests. There were leopards and wild elephants in our backyard! I have one older sister, and my parents, a quirky and free-spirited couple, brought us up without an ounce of discipline. I was an imaginative child, always trying to invent something. I made chewing gum from the sap of poinsettia plants, hatched baby lizards in a test tube and tended a tiny peanut farm, which did poorly as I periodically pulled up the plants to see if any peanuts were growing. The rest of the day, I climbed trees, stalked mynah birds with a homemade bow and arrows, and fished in tiny ponds with a bamboo pole and worms. My parents panicked when they found I was already ten and running around without a sum in my head so I was promptly packed off to boarding school like the other tea garden kids. In boarding school I got into all kinds of trouble for breaking rules and playing pranks on teachers. I flunked a year after selling my schoolbooks to buy samosas through the school janitor. Having survived boarding school I went on to college to graduate in English literature, and embarked upon by a long and exciting career in advertising and graphic design.
I came to America in 1994 after marrying my pen pal and ran my own graphic design business for several years. I launched a yoga t-shirt line, dabbled in ceramic art and sang with an award-winning chorus. Now I write full-time. My husband, Vinoo, and I live in Fountain Hills, Arizona. We are child-free and pet-free, although I did own a beta fish named Sashimi not so long ago who died of tottery old age. He is wrapped in sushi seaweed and buried in my backyard.
Books By Shona Patel