Mani Schwartz is a writer and creativity consultant living in Amherst, MA. She is married to Jena Schwartz and the mother/stepmom of five incredible kids. She has a strong interest in social justice, racial and economic disparities, gender identity, and queer family issues. She is most at home in inner cities or the middle of the woods. Meditation, writing, art, and living things keep her sane as she navigates the unfamiliar territory of living in a predominantly well-off, very white New England town after spending just shy of a decade in Phoenix. She has a passionate love affair with being alive, and finds beauty and intrigue in all that she encounters, with keeping it real being the most beautiful thing of all. She eschews the woo-woo in favor of dirt, people, and concrete. Her only lament is that it will never be possible to see and do and be all the things, and imagines herself to be the love child of June Cleaver and Charles Bukowski. She is an extroverted introvert and a pragmatic Pollyanna. She begs you not to take it personally if you can't get her out of the house. It's not you, it's her first novel in progress. The characters are holding her hostage. Either that, or she just doesn't want to go to the party.