FORT LEE, N.J. — It's no coincidence that Fort Lee author Joanne Weck's latest novel takes place in both Manhattan and the Poconos.
The former teacher splits time at her borough home during the week and the Poconos on weekends.
“I watch the bears come wandering down the dirt road, watch the birds in the feeders -- and squirrels,” said Weck, whose novel, "Double Deception," was published in early October.
Writing has always been her escape.
“I grew up in a family of 10 kids,” Weck said. “I was the poet, I was the writer, I put on plays for grade-school classes. That’s how I got the attention that I needed.”
Her mother rocked her younger siblings to sleep by singing nursery rhymes. It stoked an early interest in poems and rhymes.
“I started writing at 6 or 7,” Weck said. “I wrote almost continuously throughout my life.”
Weck is nothing if not versatile, having worked in Lakewood, Lynwood, Tenafly and Union Township teaching "all the exciting courses," she said, "creative writing, theater arts and TV production, as well as English.”
After retiring in 2001, she found she missed working with youngsters and took up part-time tutor work for Fort Lee.
Weck continues to find time to write poems, produce plays and even interview celebrities such as Michael Jackson and Brooke Shields for Scholastic Magazine.
The fast-paced "Double Deception" is set in and around Manhattan with scenes in a deserted cabin in the Pocono Mountains.
The plot involves a pair of twins, separated at birth, who know nothing of one another’s existence until each kidnapped in Manhattan. Held by dangerous criminals, they discover one another and escape by combining their ingenuity and courage.
Weck already is working on another novel that she hopes is released in January.
But she's also still feeling the thrill of her latest release.
“I didn’t believe it was real until I was holding the paperback last week,” she said.