D.M. Pulley 

Before I started writing, I worked as a Professional Engineer specializing in the rehabilitation of historic structures and forensic investigations of building failures. I inspected buildings and managed rehabilitation projects in Cleveland, Ohio for over ten years. Then my life took an unexpected turn. My first son was born in 2006 and my second came along in 2009. Juggling two kids and a demanding career proved to be a bit too much for me to manage without screaming in traffic, so I hung up my hard hat for a few years to do the Mommy Thing. I lasted about three weeks as a stay-at-home mom before I cracked. I got restless. Naptimes became a pile of lost, guilt-ridden hours spent neglecting the laundry and dreaming up unnecessary renovation projects. I took up gourmet cooking, I started a consulting business. Then, on an ill-advised whim, I decided to try my hand at something I'd dreamt of doing since I was six years old. I decided to write. Engineers are not known for being good writers. I felt like an utter imposter sitting there at my laptop. I had attempted and failed the National Write a Novel Month more than once. I'd dropped out of writer's workshops. It was the worst kind of pipe dream, but I had a story to tell. Years earlier, during a survey of an abandoned bank, I stumbled into a basement vault rumored to contain hundreds of unclaimed safe deposit boxes. The mystery of the boxes haunted me for years. Who rented them? Why were they left behind? What lay hidden inside? Hundreds of questions begged for answers. I started writing The Dead Key in 2010. Every morning while my baby slept and my toddler played at preschool, I wrote. Some days I wrote insufferable crap. Some days it wasn't so bad. Every once in a while, a good idea would emerge from my laptop. Regardless, I sat there and typed 1500 words a day. Once I found a rhythm, the first draft came pouring out.
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