My life began, from a writing perspective, when I went to college. Thatâ€™s not to say I didnâ€™t write stories before then. I did. Iâ€™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 didnâ€™t begin until college, thatâ€™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 â€śJeweled Torment.â€ť 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 Masterâ€™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 Elliotâ€™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. Iâ€™m also fond of the saying that sits on my desk beneath a photo of a sailboat on the sea: â€śYou cannot discover new worlds unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.â€ť
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.