Toni Kief is an accomplished writer and the author of the series “Mildred Unchained,” which includes “Mildred in Disguise With Diamonds,” “Mildred Romancing the Odds,” “Mildred Raising the Ante,” “Mildred Doubles Down: On the Edge of a Storm” and “Mildred Aces and Eights.” Furthermore, she has published two books on women in history, “Saints, Strangers and Rosehip Tea” and “More Than a Footnote: Women Neglected by History.” Ms. Kief’s first book, “Old Baggage,” was published in 2016, and her work has also appeared in a variety of short story collections, including “Detours and Destinations,” a flash fiction anthology from her time with the Writers Kickstart of Snohomish.
The co-founder and president of the Writers Cooperative of the Pacific Northwest since 2014, Ms. Kief strives to support other writers in their creative processes. In 2018, she published “Dare to Write in a Flash: Learning and Fine Tuning the Art of Writing,” where she offers prompts and writing tools alongside examples of her own flash fiction. Working from home, her writing process involves writing for at least 10 minutes a day alongside the technical aspects of publishing and promoting her work. Her goal is to write a book a year. Looking toward the future, Ms. Kief hopes to see the continued growth of the writers’ cooperative in order to support more independent authors.
Ms. Kief got her start writing short stories while working as an insurance adjuster. She began her career as an accounts insurance clerk in 1974 before becoming a legal secretary for workers’ compensation at Thomas R. Bopp, Esq. in 1977. Through the ‘80s and ‘90s and into the early 2000s, she was a billing specialist for Tampa General Hospital, a claims adjuster and office manager for Charles F. Davis Inc., a senior adjuster for Classic Claims Service, Inc. and a senior claims adjuster for USF&G and Norcross. In 2001, Ms. Kief became a casualty adjuster for Washington Oregon Claim Services, a role she held until she retired from the field in 2011.
Alongside her primary responsibilities, Ms. Kief has been a tireless political activist and community volunteer. She is currently active as the civil service commissioner for Marysville, Washington, and is a regular supporter and volunteer with the local warming center for homeless individuals. Additionally, she donates monthly to a program planting trees, and since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she has picked up roughly 1,300 bags of trash. Attributing much of her success to her adaptability, Ms. Kief has been recognized for her work in insurance claims, having notably been the first independent woman adjuster in Florida, and has been invited to appear as a guest on several podcasts.