In the third grade, my teacher encouraged me to enter a school wide writing contest. Horse crazy even back then, no one was surprised when my story featured a four-legged hero. But everyone was surprised when my story won. The prize? A trip to Seattle to attend the Young Author’s Convention. I remember that day as if it were yesterday. The dress my mom made me for the big day…the ferryboat ride…meeting my first published author (Stephen Cosgrove just in case you were wondering). And my shoes. New shoes. Shoes with heels! (All of a 1/4 of an inch but, hey, a girl has to start somewhere).
The writing bug bit and bit hard. But real life intruded on my fictional world. Marriage, motherhood and a demanding job derailed me for a few years but then something wonderful happened. Actually, several pretty wonderful things. After the birth of our youngest son, I decided to leave my job as a paralegal. One day while I was busy chasing toddlers and changing diapers, my husband handed me an article from our hometown paper highlighting the local Romance Writers of America chapter. A whole world of writers and readers? Heaven. But the wonderfulness didn’t stop there. Soon after joining RWA, I met the amazing and incredibly talented Kristin Hannah who was looking for an assistant. Somehow I landed this dream job. With Kristin’s generous guidance and the support of the world’s best critique group, it took me a few years to finish my first novel. (Okay, six, but who’s counting.) It then took the prodding of my amazingly supportive friends to convince me to enter RWA’s Golden Heart contest. When they announced that I had won, I wish I could say I was speechless. Surprised? Yes! Shocked? Yes! Yes!! But speechless? How I wish. No. I cried. Like a baby.
While that manuscript did not find a publisher, it did land me the world’s best agency. And my second book, Lake Magic, found the perfect home.
Besides spending time with family, ignoring my messy house and writing, I love reading, having exercised, having weeded, and having figured out what’s for dinner.