Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines a biography this way: A biography is the written history of a person's life. Fern Michaels isn't a person. Fern Michaels is what I DO. Me, Mary Ruth Kuczkir. Growing up in Hastings, Pennsylvania, I was called Ruth. I became Mary when I entered the business world where first names were the order of the day. To this day, family and friends call me Dink, a name my father gave me when I was born because according to him I was `a dinky little thing' weighing in at four and a half pounds. However, I answer to Fern since people are more comfortable with a name they can pronounce.
I've been telling stories and scribbling for twenty-five years. I hope I can continue for another twenty-five years. It wasn't easy during some of those years. As I said, I had to persevere. My old Polish grandmother said something to me when I was little that I never forgot. She said when God is good to you, you have to give back. For a while I didn't know how to do that. When I finally figured it out I set up The Fern Michaels Foundation. The foundation allows me to grant four year scholarships to needy, deserving students. I then went a step further and opened pre-school and day care centers with affordable rates for single moms who are having a hard time of it. Doing Fern Michaels allows me to do this and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank God for being so good to me. I don't know what I'm the most proud of, the books I write, the scholarships, the pre-schools or the fact that I put my kids through college on my own with no help from anyone. Probably the latter because when all else is said and done, the only thing that matters is family.
Is Fern Michaels a great writer. No. She is however, one hell of a story teller. When people ask me what I do, I say, "I scribble and tell stories." It's a great way to make a living. The Dutch have a saying, `If you can't whistle on your way to work, you don't belong in that job.' I whistle all day long.