Karen Joy Fowler, born on February 7, 1950, lived in Bloomington, Indiana--where her father was a professor of psychology--until she was eleven years old. "Bloomington lives in my mind as a sort of Oz-like place where I caught fireflies and watched lightning and ran around. None of the yards were fenced, so we could play games that covered massive amounts of territory." She then moved to Palo Alto, California, and was outraged to find that all the yards were fenced. "As part of growing up, I suppose, the things I was expected to do got smaller and smaller anyway, in the same way that the territory I was allowed to occupy got smaller and smaller because of the differences between California and Indiana." Fowler majored in political science at the University of California at Berkeley, and had her first baby at twenty-three during the last year of her master's program at the University of California at Davis. After completing her master's degree, she entered what she refers to as her "child-rearing years." Though she loves her two children with an intensity that still amazes her, Fowler--then thirty years old--began to feel restless. She decided to take a dance class to reclaim some territory of her own. "And it was only after I realized that I wasn't going to make it as a dancer that I took a creative writing class in Davis." Fowler began to publish science fiction stories. She soon made a name for herself in the sci-fi community with the publication of Artificial Things, a collection of short stories. She then wrote her first novel, SARAH CANARY, a critically acclaimed book that she hoped would bridge the gap between mainstream and science fiction. Fowler considers her second novel, THE SWEETHEART SEASON, to be "a romantic comedy with historical and fantastical elements." In 1991, Fowler, along with science fiction writer Pat Murphy, created the James Tiptree Jr. Memorial Award which, in Fowler's words, "is presented annually to a short story or novel that explores or expands our understanding of gender...both to honor Alice Sheldon [the science fiction author who used the pen name James Tiptree] and to remind the field of its own importance in the continual struggle to re-imagine more livable sexual roles for ourselves." Karen Joy Fowler, who lives in Davis and now writes full time.