New Orleans, Louisiana
April 1, 1952
“I've always believed in the supernatural,” Richie Tankersley Cusick told Contemporary Authors, “and I grew up with a ghost in my house. I've always loved scary books and movies—even though my parents didn't want me to watch horror films. I'd sometimes manage to sneak in and turn on the television when my folks weren't in the room. In Girl Scouts I was the troop storyteller and would make up tales of haunted houses and murderers.”
Richie Tankersley, the daughter of a petroleum engineer and a homemaker, worked summers as a ward clerk at Oschsner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans. She received a degree from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1975. She worked for Hallmark Cards as a writer for nine years before becoming a freelance writer. She married Rick Cusick, a book designer and graphic artist, in 1980.
“Richie enjoys writing when it is rainy and gloomy outside,” an endnote in a 1994 edition of April Fools stated, “and likes to have a spooky soundtrack playing in the background. She writes at a desk that originally belonged to a funeral director in the 1800s and that she believes is haunted.
“Halloween is one of her favorite holidays. She and her husband decorate the entire house, which includes having a body laid out in state in the parlor, life-size models of Frankenstein's monster, the figure of Death to keep watch, and scary costumes for Hannah and Meg, their dogs.”