Leslie Ann Rivers is an actress, director, writer and teacher, and she thinks herself lucky to have made her life in the theatre.


When she was in her teens, she acted in a production of Bus Stop, staged in an old, 19th century hall. Beyond the rear of the building was the American River, smelling sweetly of sand and willow, and a stone’s throw from the spot where the California Gold Rush began–a cradle for what would one day be her novel, Fiery Star.

Leslie went on to earn her B.A. in Dramatic Art at UC, Davis, and her M.F.A. in Acting from Stanford. After graduation, she waved her family farewell, traveled to the Midwest to perform in summer stock, and then journeyed on to New York City, where she was based for the next 5 years, acting in Manhattan and regional theatres. At last, she began to long for California. Like Dorothy in the Emerald City, she clicked her ruby slippers and headed home. While continuing to act, direct and write for the professional theatre, she also became a university professor in the Los Angeles area, where amongst her students she found wonderful future directors, teachers and actors, including Academy Award winners.

Leslie is a co-founder of the Sierra Muses Writers’ Workshop and the Sierra Muses Press.

She now resides in the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, where she and her daughter enjoy the wild turkeys and deer who amble through their yard.