bio

Emily ListfieldWhen I sold my first novel, I quit my day job. "Don't do that," scolded my agent. I told her I thought that was what writers did when they got a book contract. "Not when it's $2,500 dollars," she pointed out.

That day job waitressing at SoHo's Cupping Room actually launched my career as a novelist. I had a regular customer who was also a writer and referred me to an agent. That novel, It Was Gonna Be Like Paris, became a New York Times Notable Book.

Growing up in Manhattan, I always wanted to be a writer. Literature and Journalism were my two loves and I majored in them at Colgate University and Emerson College. After graduation, I returned to New York City and worked as a cocktail waitress at night. I wrote during the day.

During that time, I married sculptor George Dudding. In the years that followed he gained increasing acclaim, selling his work to everyone from S.I. Newhouse and Bianca Jagger to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We had a daughter in 1993.

I published four more novels and wrote for several magazines, including Harper's Bazaar, Redbook, Self, Ladies Home Journal, New York magazine, Parade and The New York Times. I went on to become an editor at Self and McCalls and Editor-in-Chief at Fitness.

In 1999, I received the phone call that inspired Waiting to Surface. My husband vanished in Florida, and I still don't know what really happened. However, like my protagonist, Sarah Larkin, I learned to move on, raise my daughter and risk falling in love again.

I've always been fascinated by the question of how well you can ever know another human being. Waiting to Surface, like all my books, examines that quandary. It also explores the universal dilemma of coming to terms with uncertainty and learning to live and love despite that. I hope you enjoy the book. Contact me and let me know what you think.