Here’s that official-sounding bio you might have already noticed on each and every page of this site: Angele McQuade is the author of two books, including Investment Clubs for Dummies. She writes the monthly Book Value column and feature stories for BetterInvesting magazine and also writes novels and picture books for children. Angele is represented by Jennifer Laughran of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
But we’re all friends here, so what else would you like to know? I was born and raised near the coast in Southern California, which meant a childhood of sunburns-turned-freckles for my decidedly not beach-loving complexion until I finally realized sunscreen was my friend. All credit for both that pale skin and my first name goes to my French-Canadian parents, who hated the cold of their childhoods so much they found a way to leave it behind for good.
After graduating from the University of California, Irvine (Go, Anteaters!) with a degree in English, a minor in Women’s Studies, and a brand-new husband, my surfer boy and I departed the O.C. (okay, no one actually called it that back then) for five years of the wintry, cheese-centric glory that is Madison, Wisconsin. (Yes, my parents shook their heads at us trading in the beach for snow.)
No-Longer-Surfer-Boy and I spent similarly chilly yet charming years in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Ithaca, New York until our family (now numbering four) threw down our snow shovels and hit the road for the warmer climes of North Florida. Badgers were replaced by alligators and armadillos, hemlocks by Spanish moss-draped live oaks, and omnipresent cloud cover by enormous, nearly blindingly blue skies.
Though you’d rarely find me without a big hat and plenty of sunscreen (see, I learned!), I do admit there was something quite appealing about being able to take our canoe out on the local river in January when all our friends up north were struggling to get their cars started. We rather missed having four full seasons, though, so in the summer of 2012, we sold our house and our car, put the canoe and kayak in storage, and set off for new adventures in Berlin, Germany, where we lived in a lovely flat with at least five bakery/cafes within easy walking distance. (Wunderbar is pretty much the best word to describe how awesome that was.)
In the summer of 2013, after an awful lot of German lessons (Ich spreche jetzt ein bisschen Deutsche!) and a year filled with lovely experiences and even lovelier German friends, we set off for the Washington, D.C, area on yet another completely unexpected adventure. Four years after that, we moved slightly south to our current home in Richmond, Virginia–our first move ever within the same state instead of our typical relocation across the country, or even an ocean.
During those shivery years back in Wisconsin, I worked for the syndicated public radio show Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know? (my very favorite job other than my current one as writer). While living in Cambridge, I was a staff writer for Investorama.com, producing among other topics an almost unimaginable number of articles about insurance. Ask me about kidnap and ransom insurance if you’re ever curious–seriously, it’s a completely fascinating topic!
I’ve also published two books about investing (including Investment Clubs for Dummies, which Barron’s named one of its “Best Investing Books of 2002”) and written close to four hundred articles as a monthly columnist and feature writer for Better Investing magazine over the past twenty years. I’ve been interviewed on public radio and by numerous publications including Consumer Reports, the Chicago Tribune and CBS Marketwatch.
While personal finance remains a forever passion, my deepest writing (and reading) love is reserved for children’s picture books and novels. I’m a long-time member of the Authors Guild, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and the Romance Writers of America (RWA).
When I’m not busy with my own writing, I teach workshops about both writing and personal finance, and also about the connection between money and creativity. When I’m not writing, teaching, or reading, I keep myself entertained with many things crafty or creative, including handwritten letters, hand-made bookmarks, hand-carved rubber stamps, and hand-bound books. My biggest current crafty/creative goals are to learn to play The Rainbow Connection on the mandolin that’s sitting so lonely-like in my office, and also to learn to crochet a Totoro amigurumi. (Let me know you if you have tips on either!)
Way back in the 4th grade, I wrote a report about whooping cranes and their declining numbers. That set me on a decades-long quest to see an actual whooping crane in the wild, a dream which has now come true twice in the past few years. The first time was in my very own neighborhood in North Florida (I know, I couldn’t believe it either!) and the second was in coastal Texas. That sighting required a boat.
My first job in high school was as a hostess at Cattleman’s Ranch restaurant (not the fictional one in the ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat, just to be clear). My original manager there encouraged me to wear short skirts and smile widely at the male customers while escorting them to their tables for bargain-priced filet mignon and garlic chicken. He was fired shortly thereafter and replaced by a chain-smoking woman named Faye.
I’ve visited all but seven* of the fifty United States. I still have the whole Pacific Northwest left to explore, so I’m open to any invitation that will bring me there. And if you want to invite me along on your next writer’s retreat in Scotland, cruise to Alaska, or letterboxing adventure in North Dakota, it’ll only take me a minute to pack.
And there you have it–(just about) everything that’s worth knowing about me. If there’s anything you think I missed, feel free to ask!
*States still on the “not yet visited” list: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington. And don’t ask me how a California girl has yet to travel farther north up the west coast than Marin. No, really, don’t–it’s kind of embarrassing I haven’t, to be honest.
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