Mari Passananti has practiced law and worked in a major legal search firm. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island and Georgetown University Law Center, she lives in Boston, where she divides her time between writing and trying to keep up with her toddler.
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Mari grew up in Rhode Island, a state known principally for its small geographic footprint, picturesque shoreline and corrupt politicians. She is the oldest of three children of a homemaker slash poet and a bootstrap entrepreneur.
She was fortunate to travel a lot as a child (mom is from Finland, dad from Italy), but being a first generation American kid also meant that she toted weird lunches to school, where she learned that most first graders do not want to trade their PB&J for pickled beets and herring in a baggie. Her European parents also bestowed on her, at a tender age, relaxed views on body image and nudity, as well as decidedly continental opinions regarding the fitness of milk as a dinner beverage.
Mari has been asked often why she doesn't write about her experiences as a child of fresh off the boat immigrants, who incidentally could not be more different from each other. Short answer: they would probably kick her out of the family if she went there.
After college, Mari flirted with the idea of journalism school. Her dad talked her into law school (this was the last time anyone talked Mari into anything). He argued that a law degree would provide a more secure financial future, plenty of options and all the attendant good stuff that comes with having choices in life. Which it might have done, had Mari stuck with legal practice. She disliked big firm life from the get go, bailed out and became a headhunter.
She had the good fortune to make the leap during the heady dot com era, but she stuck with legal search through the bubble burst. Over the years, many of Mari's clients asked whether she regretted her decision to go to law school. Not at all. It was a tremendous education. And while it was interesting, as a twenty-one-year-old, to fantasize about becoming some prolific foreign correspondent, Mari not-so-secretly suspects that she lacks the chops to leave the comforts of home in favor of war zones and terrorist havens.
Around the time her thirty-fifth birthday started to loom large, Mari found the gumption to try to make a living as a writer. Her first novel, The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken, was published in 2011, or around the time her fortieth birthday began creeping up on the horizon. Her second book, a suspense novel titled The K Street Affair, debuted January 2013.
Mari lives with her partner, their son, one largish rescue dog and two cats in the Boston area. Her interests include the outdoors, anything to do with horses, travel and reading.
You can also find Mari's article "Get the Most Out of Your PR Dollars" in Writers Digest's anthology, Novel & Short Story Writer's Market 2016