Born & raised in metropolitan New York, Mary Semel worked as a social worker in the Maryland welfare department, held part-time positions for the Salvation Army & the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, & for 10 years, worked in chemical dependency treatment at Sheppard & Enoch Pratt Psychiatric Hospital. Her son, Alexander, was killed in a car accident in 1991.
Anne McCracken is a former newspaper reporter & feature writer who has written about such topics as battered women, Vietnam veterans, abuse of the elderly, teen pregnancy, & AIDs. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband, Tom, & her 11-year-old daughter, Hollis. She lost her son, Jake, in 1989.