Wisconsin born JOANN ROSE LEONARD was Texas-raised and has chigger bite scars to prove it. Theatre-trained and frostbitten at Northwestern University, she worked as an actress in New York and in regional theatres across the U.S. She studied mime in Paris with Marcel Marceau at École Internationale de Mimodrame while dubbing films into English to earn her daily baguette. Later she raised 9 kids (2 human, 7 goats) in State College Pennsylvania, where she was founder and director of MetaStages, the youth theatre program at Penn State University. With her husband Bob, a retired professor and professional theatre director, Joann recently relocated to northern California to be nearer their sons, Jonathan (DJ Child, award-winning music producer and founder of the multi-media company, Project Groundation) and Joshua (actor/filmmaker including The Lie, HigherGround and The Blair Witch Project.)
Joann is author of Stardust Child (Eifrig Publishing); The Soup Has Many Eyes: From Shtetl to Chicago; One Family's Journey Through History (Bantam); "From Page to Stage,” a chapter in Holt Rinehart Winston’s Elements of Literature; and two collections of multicultural folk plays, All the World's a Stage Volumes I, II & III (Samuel French).
In her research for The Healer of Fox Hollow, Joann discovered that the truth the novel is based upon is infinitely stranger than the fiction she wrote.