A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis, Irene Woodbury’s first novel, was inspired by her love of travel writing.  Between 2000 and 2006, her stories appeared in many newspapers, including the Washington Post, London Daily Telegraph, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Toronto Star, and Nevada and The Affluent Traveler magazines. 

   One of the author’s favorite destinations was Las Vegas; she always believed Sin City would be the perfect setting for a novel.  In 2006, she came up with the idea for Slot, and, four-and-a-half years, and many visits later, it was finished.  

    Irene is convinced her book wouldn’t work nearly as well in any other city.  “Las Vegas has a frenetic energy to it,” she says, “and there’s plenty of chaos and confusion to go around.  Is there a better place for a midlife crisis?  I don’t think so.”

   The author has lived in two of the locations featured in her novel:  Los Angeles, where she worked at the Los Angeles Times, IBM, and Time Magazine, and Houston, where she graduated from the University of Houston in 1993.  She also got married in Houston.  (Yes, like Wendy, her lead character, but Irene insists the similarities end there!)  Her husband, Richard, a retired Time Magazine correspondent, edited her novel.   

    Since 1994, the couple have called Denver home.  As for midlife crises -- his, hers, yours, mine -- Irene believes it’s a time for asking questions.  “Where am I?  Where have I been?  Where am I going?  That’s it in a nutshell,” she says.  “Writing this novel has been my midlife crisis.  And it’s not over yet!”


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