Genny Zak Kieley is a non-fiction writer. She was born in Little Falls, MN and moved to Northeast Minneapolis at the age of six, a place that deeply influenced the writing of her first book Heart and Hard Work; Memories of Nordeast Minneapolis.
Genny’s first story A House No Longer Lived In was published in Polish American Journalin Buffalo, New York in1990.
Heart and Hard Work published in 1997 is now in its sixth printing, and has sold 7,800 copies. It was not on the best seller list, but sure made a lot of Northeast Minneapolis people happy and also held the distinction of the most likely to disappear from the Northeast Community Library.
Here is what Genny has to say about her writing:
I didn’t start out as a writer; my background is in art. I was kind of a shy kid and came from a large family. I didn’t know how to get my thoughts out to others so I would daydream a lot and sketched people and other things like houses and landscapes. I wanted so much to be an artist; so when I couldn’t go to art school I was devastated. We just didn’t have the money. I spent my life going from one part time job to another. None of them suited me. The ones I liked the best were picture framing and waitressing.
I was a late bloomer and discovered so much in later life. In the mid-1980s I took an interest in genealogy and signed up for a few classes at North Hennepin Community College. It was there I discovered writing. Although I began my writing there; it was a class with Maureen LaJoy at the Center for Developing Writers that really helped me to establish myself as a writer. Maureen believed in me, taught me about technique and helped me form a routine; so I could fit writing into my life.
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