Reading led me to writing, as I suspect it does many authors. When I was a preschooler, my grandfather and I drew stick figures and made up stories about them, but something new and serious sparked in my imagination after I read my first super-hero comic book at age 7 (I’d talked him into buying it for me). By that time I’d progressed to stories I illustrated in crayon, mostly fairy tale retreads.
Somewhere around fourth grade, I realized I couldn’t be Wonder Woman when I grew up because I had no Amazon genes, but I never lost my love of adventure stories. Comic books led me to science fiction and bad science fiction writing attempts.
While a succession of teachers who liked realism led me to read more and write less, I never stopped inventing worlds and people in my head. College and graduate school revived my need for escapism, and I returned to writing, this time in the form of comic book fan fiction. Encouraged by friends to write something of my own, I tried my hand at a fantasy novel. Figuring out how to write something that long led to a few fits and starts and lots more fan fiction, but I eventually finished my first novel and went on to give it siblings.
I enjoy all forms of wordplay but consider fiction a unique window to the human heart. My books in all genres combine adventure and romance in the development of true love for my characters. Each of my romance manuscripts has at least one major contest credential, and two were Golden Heart finalists.
Blessed–or cursed, depending on your viewpoint–with innate stubbornness, I believe persistence and professionalism are the ultimate virtues in the quest for publication, and I wish everyone the same luck I’d like for myself. I used to tell people I’d been building my character by dealing with rejection letters and would like to see how well it stood up to success. I hope I’m about to find out as Renegade debuts.
I still love comic books, fantasy and science fiction, though I don’t read comics as much as I once did. I try to get to Dragon*Con every year. I’m also a lifelong history geek and Anglophile, passions born when I was in second grade and watched a television drama about the Tudors. By the time I reached college and learned just how inaccurate that story was, it was too late. I was hooked! I majored in history and spent a fabulous summer studying Tudor and Stuart Britain at Oxford University (as well as learning to drive on the left side and observe local customs in pubs). These experiences left me with serious geek tendencies, which I indulge by reading a lot of history. My college classes mostly covered who fought whom, when, why, and how, and I’ve been delighted to discover how much material is available about the ways people of different eras lived.
I’ve traveled extensively in Britain with my husband and our son, collecting numerous tomes, weighty and not, on my passion. My husband, a children’s literature professor who understands the “book thing,” graciously carried home the ones I didn’t have time to entrust to the Royal Mail. His help put a whole new spin on the “carry my books” bit and helped make possible the Writer Resources section of this site, where I share some of my best finds.
Several years ago, on a dare from him, I took advantage of the Mother’s Day discount at our son’s karate school and enrolled in fitness kickboxing. I enjoyed it so much that I started karate lessons, which I loved. Before knee problems forced me to give up the sport, I earned a blue belt. Kickboxing has more room to adapt for knee issues, so I’m still able to participate in that. The skills I learned have given me confidence writing action scenes, especially in my contemporary romances.
An RWA PRO member, I’ve served my local chapter, Carolina Romance Writers, as president, program chair, workshop coordinator, and newsletter co-editor. I also belong to two home-away-from-home chapters, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers and Georgia Romance Writers, and have served on the PRO advocacy committee of RWA. As a three-time Golden Heart finalist, I also belong to The Golden Network. I’m currently the secretary of that chapter.
I’ve sold freelance newspaper features on various topics and given talks about history and writing. I love talking to writing groups and would be interested in talking to yours. If something in the Workshops section of this site appeals to you, drop me a line. I love hearing from both readers and writers!