Janet Moss, a 46-year-old native of Richmond, majored in cultural anthropology at the College of William and Mary. She went on to complete cosmetology school and spent the next 20 years cutting hair.
Last year, after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Moss planned to head south and pick up a Granny in her brown 1974 Chrysler Newport, given to her by her best friend's mother. Instead, afraid that the old car wouldn't make the trip, Moss sold the Newport on eBay, bought a printer and laptop, and wrote "Miss Morris," her first short story.
"It just eats at your head when you're not using your talent," says Moss, relieved to have started writing after relentlessly berating herself for not having a creative outlet. "It's a terrible combination to have a writer that isn't writing and an only child who is a gifted listener."
Moss believes that buying the laptop prevented her from driving Sally, her 15-year-old daughter, completely insane. Moss attends Commonwealth Assembly of God in the Fan and in her free time pretends to be a pirate, because, she explains, "pirates are very in-vogue right now."