My life began, from a writing perspective, when I went to college. That’s not to say I didn’t write stories before then. I did. I’ve always written and, in my elementary years, illustrated stories. My tales always featured horses and princesses I could render with flowing manes of hair. Anyway, when I say my writing life didn’t begin until college, that’s because my home life was so overwhelmingly normal and angst-free: no family divorces, no abuse, no felons, no deaths, no drugs or alcohol, no shop-lifting or sex parties to win peer approval. (Have you heard what 12-year-olds are up to today? I shudder.) My father was an Air Force pilot and we moved a lot, living in Georgia, Texas, Washington, the Philippines, and Oklahoma before I was out of high-school, but I liked the peripatetic lifestyle.
I wrote my first novel for a creative writing class at Trinity University. Professor Bob Flynn inspired me and heroically refrained from gagging when reading the contemporary romance I titled “Jeweled Torment.” That manuscript is buried in a box in the garage, along with the Regency romance I wrote shortly after joining the Air Force. I concentrated on becoming a good intelligence officer for many years before doing any more significant writing. I served with an F-16 wing in Korea, helped resolve reports of live-sightings of Vietnam prisoners of war while working out of the embassy in Bangkok, pushed paper at the Defense Intelligence Agency, earned my Master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania, taught English for three years at the Air Force Academy, learned cool things about satellites (none of which I can ever write about) at the National Reconnaissance Office, attended various professional schools, did my time in the Pentagon, commanded a squadron in England, and ended up in Colorado. Along the way, I married my wonderful husband and produced two beautiful children who re-defined what is important in life. A moment of Holy Spirit-guided epiphany in Elliot’s Bay bookstore in Seattle convinced me it was time to embark on writing and mothering full time. I retired from the Air Force in late 2004.
My motto? Never, never, never, give up. I’m also fond of the saying that sits on my desk beneath a photo of a sailboat on the sea: “You cannot discover new worlds unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
One of those new worlds included the privilege of serving on the Sisters in Crime Board, for which I am now their immediate Past President.
I discover more new worlds all the time in my writing and I give thanks every day for being able to pursue my passion.