Tracy Zollinger Turner was born near exit 105 of the Garden State Parkway. Her early years were spent eyeing the haunted house on the Long Branch pier with suspicion, daring herself to walk underneath the blue whale at the Museum of Natural History, visiting with Oceanport ducks and imagining herself as Claudia in The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

Midway through her childhood, a parental split sent her, her mother and brother to the maternal homeland of central Ohio (except during summer, spring break and Thanksgiving). Outside of a wonderful college experience in the Berkshires, she's remained a faithful midwesterner ever since.

An appreciation for language led her to take her American history/literature/creative writing degree and apply it to the field of journalism, where she began her career the year that Bill Clinton was first elected and Marlene Dietrich died. This accidental path stuck, and she has spent every year since writing for a variety of outlets - from newspapers across the country to regional magazines to public radio to the Internet.

She blogs! Visit her blog about writing, Write Armed, or her personal blog, Tiny Mantras (links will take you offsite).

• She is married to Dan Dougan, owner/promoter of the now, sadly defunct, Little Brother's night club, musician and all-around local character.

• Believe it or not, Tracy Turner, a Columbus Dispatch staff writer, is not Tracy Zollinger Turner. TZT's byline always includes the name Zollinger.

• She loves and cares for two rescued animals - one dog and one cat, adopted from the Columbus Dog Connection and Cat Welfare.


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