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Marcello, Patricia Cronin 1952–

Marcello, Patricia Cronin 1952–

PERSONAL: Born June 27, 1952, in Pittsburgh, PA; daughter of James V. (a police officer) and Dorothy (a sales associate) Cronin; married Patrick Marcello (a sales consultant), May 6, 1973; children: Shannon. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: University of Pittsburgh, B.A., 1974.

ADDRESSES: Office—Bradenton, FL. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Greenwood Press, 88 Post Rd. W., West-port, CT 06881. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer. Freelance writer, Bradenton, FL, 1989–. Institute of Children's Literature, instructor, 1997–2002. Formerly worked in banking business.

WRITINGS:

Diana: The Life of a Princess, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 1998.

Matt Damon, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 1998.

Pope John Paul II, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 1998.

Jerry Garcia, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO),1999.

The Titanic, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO),1999.

The Navajo, Lucent Books (San Diego, CA), 2000.

The Dalai Lama: A Biography, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 2003.

Gloria Steinem: A Biography, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 2004.

Ralph Nader: A Biography, Greenwood Press (West-port, CT), 2004.

Author of curriculum material, including an Internet training manual for teachers. Contributor to books, including The Greatest, Biggest Golf Book, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 1998; The Big Book of Cats, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 1998; Kindred Spirits, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 1999; The Spirit of Sisters, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 1999; and Eve's Wisdom, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 1999. Contributor to magazines and newspapers, including American Cowboy, Apple-Seeds, Calliope, Church Educator, Computer Trader, Guideposts for Kids, ParentLife, RAM Chowder, Wild West, and Writer's Digest. Associate editor, Successful Women, 1994–97.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Mohandas K. Gandhi: A Biography, for Greenwood Press (Westport, CT).

SIDEUGHTS: Patricia Cronin Marcello told CA: "My writing career began in 1989, following a twenty-year career in banking. After sixteen years of marriage and several years of trying, I was surprised to learn that I was pregnant, and our 'miracle' child meant more to me than anything in the world. My husband and I decided that I would stop working so that one of us could be with our daughter full-time.

"At first, the new life was overwhelming. Working sixty hours a week managing bank branches suddenly seemed much simpler, and I certainly was not one to relish wee-hour feedings, diaper changes, bottle washing, and all that motherhood entails. I was lost in a world I knew nothing about. However, I quickly got the hang of the new territory and became very interested in writing quality information on my newborn's blank slate. I spent a great deal of time reading to my daughter, even from the day she was born, and realized that I might have a story or two within me to tell. With only one income, I had considered many options regarding working inside my home. I tried a mail-order antiques business; I taught crafts in a craft store; I tried flea marketing on weekends; and I started to write, only remotely hoping to succeed. When I sold my first short story, I was stunned.

"I began like so many other aspirants, as a dyed-in-the-wool fiction writer. Nonfiction seemed boring and somehow not as lofty an ambition as becoming the great American novelist. I saw nonfiction as the regurgitation of facts gleaned from other sources, which I thought much too mundane and tedious to pursue. I sold a few more short stories over an extended period and wrote three novels (one for adults and two for children), which never sold.

"Then one day, out of desperation and poverty, I dared to send a resume to the editor of a women's lifestyle newspaper; she was looking for freelancers. She wanted a story about what the city of Pittsburgh would be like in the year 2000 (this was in 1996), and the idea intrigued me, so I went about gathering information from people involved in all aspects of the city—energy, communications, transportation, and technology. The research phase was exhilarating, and when I started to write, I realized that writing nonfiction was like putting a finely crafted piece of fiction together, only using facts. Nonfiction also brought regular, consistent income, whereas fiction couldn't even buy a week's groceries, once every three to four months. I was hooked. Doing something fun and getting paid regularly was like finding my own version of nirvana.

"I have written about myriad topics in long and short form and, through my research, I have come to see the world in a much clearer perspective. I enjoy writing biographies most, as they have taken me into studies of history, psychology, politics, religion, foreign cultures, geography, and much, much more. I feel extremely lucky to have found my niche and even luckier to have embraced the very genre I wanted to avoid."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

School Library Journal, October, 2003, Jonathan Betz-Zall, review of The Dalai Lama: A Biography, p. 196.

ONLINE

Pat Marcello's Write On! Information and Inspiration for People Who Write, http://www.patmarcello.com(March 31, 2005).

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