Stevi Mittman started out life as Stephanie, went through
the unfortunate "Steffi" phase in elementary school (which
ended when she was romantically linked to a boy with the
last name Kotoff and they became known as Stuffy Nose and
Kot Snot!), and finally wound up "Stevi" as soon as her
figure established that she wasn't a boy.
In high school she met the love of her life (as she
generally refers to him after over 35 years of marriage),
and they had two wonderful children. Shortly after baby
number two was born, looking for something that didn't
require re-doing (like laundry, meals and dishes), she
took up stained glass and found that it came to her
naturally. Within weeks she was doing complicated projects
and, inspired by her daughter, made a Victorian dollhouse
completely out of glass. She entered it in the Washington
Square Art Show in New York City, an annual event she'd
often attended with her father, and took First Place in
Stained Glass and Best in Show for Crafts. The dollhouse,
completely furnished, is now part of the permanent
collection of the Museum of the City of New York.
As much as she enjoyed stained glass, writing took over
her attention after a trip without a good book to read. On
the way home she offered her son and husband the use of
her studio space for a pool table. "I'm going to write
novels," she said, "and I won't need the studio anymore."
And write she did. As Stephanie Mittman, she wrote a total
of eight romance novels for HarperCollins and Dell. Then,
after a move to upstate New York a few years ago, she
began penning a novel about life on Long Island, where she
was raised and where, cumulatively, she probably spent
years at the mall. Her visits back to Long Island
invariably include shopping time. Only now she calls
it "research," since her newest books, under "Stevi"
Mittman, are set in Syosset, the town where she and her
husband raised their children.
She still does some stained glass — a new dollhouse is
part of the holiday tradition at the Johnson Museum at
Cornell University — but now spends most of her days
writing, with a cat keeping her lap warm. She loves
cooking, especially Asian food, and throws a big dumpling
party every winter for a few dozen friends. Then, too,
Stevi enjoys decorating, making jewelry and doing all
sorts of crafts. She and her husband travel frequently to
visit their children and partners on the West Coast, where
the malls are as good as Long Island — almost.