Why she's interesting ... A writer for more than 30 years and publisher of 16 books, Springstubb is now finally receiving the accolades her clever prose deserves. Within the past year, she scored a two-book contract with her young-adult novel, What Happened on Fox Street, and earned two literary awards for her adult short fiction.
Success at 60 ... "It was like my career had almost come to an end then the foot went full to the floor on the accelerator. I felt like I had risen from the tomb."
Day job ... She's been a preschool teacher, a houseparent for troubled adolescents and (her words) a really bad waitress. "I'm not physically that strong, • and I had to carry three or four dinners at once on one of those trays. One time I slid all the dinners into a guy's lap. Fortunately, he was fairly drunk."
Where you'll find her ... Anyone who frequents the Coventry area may have seen Springstubb riding her bike or walking with a notepad and pen. "I hate cars. Now I use that time to think about what I'm working on. It's so productive for me." Come summer, you'll spot her at Cleveland Heights' Hampshire Road Garden, where she gets a plot each year.
Last summer's harvest ... White onions, beets, okra and black cherry heirloom tomatoes.
Torn from the headlines ... Inspiration for Fox Street's plot came from the 2002 eminent domain case that threatened to replace homes in Lakewood's west end — which, like Fox Street, dead-ends overlooking the Metroparks — with upscale condos and retail. Homeowners fought back and won. The person who led the effort told Springstubb she had spotted a fox near her property, something the book's protagonist, Mo Wren, longs to see on Fox Street. "It seemed like it was meant to be."