Tess was born on the South Side of Chicago to working class parents in a neighborhood similar to the neighborhood described in her book ‘Wallace Street’.
Tess and her sister attended parochial school until Tess finished her first year of high school. After their parents divorced their mother remarried and the family moved to a nearby suburb where their step-father was Fire Chief and where Tess finished high school.
Tess attributes her love of reading to her mother. Since early childhood regular Saturday visits to the local Chicago Public Library planted the seeds of a desire to weave stories.
She worked at various Loop offices. One most memorable to her was working at Frye Consultants, an international marketing and consulting firm. It was a firm that set high skill standards and introduced her to a world of high-pressure and high performance.
Another memorable position was as Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Admissions and Public Relations of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. At that time the school was located in a basement behind the museum, with its majestic lions on Michigan Avenue. The personalities of visiting world renowned artists, faculty and students gave Tess just another treasure trove of potential story characters.
By this time Tess was married, her husband going to school at night earning his college degree. It was also the time she and her husband began having their own children.
Tess and her family relocated to southern California where she worked with military jet pilots at Point Mugu, then with a large defense contractor often working in ‘black programs’, a term used for classified programs.
While in California Tess and her husband returned to night school; he obtaining his law degree and Tess earning a paralegal certification. It was a time when books were everywhere because by now the children were also in college.
Several years were spent working with her husband and son in their family law firm. Her husband and son as the lead attorneys and Tess being kept busy as paralegal and office manager.
Never forgetting those early visits to the local library and very diverse work experiences created an excitement in Tess to cull interesting situations and characters for her books.
Tess now lives with her husband commuting between California and Texas. Their daughter is now an attorney living in Chicago. Their son is an attorney living with his family in Utah.