A. B. Beltran, Author
I was born and raised in a small Adirondack village much like the fictional Sommerville, NY, featured in both my novels. The year before I entered Kindergarten, my knowledge of the world was greatly expanded when my mother transformed our attic into a children’s library. I spent many wonderful hours in that little room and sometimes carried favorite books to the hidden branches of the backyard maple where no one could interrupt my journeys into imagination. Those early, influential years lovingly shaped the direction my life would take, and I cherish the safe, welcoming small-town environment to which I still escape as often as I can.
My husband and I love traveling and that is the reason I incorporate our favorite spots in my novels. Living on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai for nine years has given me a unique perspective and visiting the origins of my ancestors continues to affect me deeply, but nothing can top the thrill of visiting Russia during the writing of Living Banner. Strolling around the grounds of the Peterhof Palace and climbing the fabulous staircase of The Winter Palace, familiar places for my lead character, were life-changing. Uncovering Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich Romanov’s importance as a historically influential leader and being able to share his accomplishments with others, especially in his own words, has been very rewarding. I highly recommend expanding your horizons and your understanding of others through traveling.
After earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in education, with minors in history and English, my career followed a traditional path until personal computers burst on the scene in the early 1980’s. For me, the integration of computers into the curricula presented an interesting challenge, and I immediately began to specialize in helping other educators use technology to support learning. This fresh focus led me to take on other stimulating technology initiatives. I joined: the New York State Education Department’s Innovation Team where I managed partnerships with major technology companies and served as editor of Technology Applications Magazine followed by the Tech2000Online webzine; The Sage Colleges as an Assistant Professor, and the Director of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning; and Education21, a non-for-profit educational support for public and private schools, as Director of the Virtual Learning & Training Center. (I have to admit that my poetry professors would be horrified at my final career choices!)