Thanks for stopping by my web page. I’ll try to keep this biography short, though that may prove challenging considering how long I’ve been around.
I grew up in a small town outside Cincinnati, and from a young age I was determined to leave for the “big city” – I didn’t even care which one. Before college I went to Japan as a foreign exchange student (cities don’t get much bigger than Tokyo) and then began college outside Chicago. I spent five years in the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, receiving my bachelor's and master's degrees in newspaper journalism. My first reporting jobs were in Chicago, Albuquerque, and Indianapolis, where I covered everything from mass murderers to school board meetings, though not always in within the same news story.
I got married in 1989. Within a few years we moved to a small town in Maryland where my new husband began his career as a physician. After a brief stint as an aide to a U.S. Senator, I left the “workforce” to become CEO of a home and family. Those years at home with my two children were beautiful and I wouldn’t exchange them for anything, though I admit I occasionally felt like I was going bat-shit crazy. To keep my brain and creativity alive, I did some freelance writing, began a faux painting business, and then took a half-time job in non-profit fundraising. When my youngest started kindergarten, I decided to try my hand at fiction writing. My goal was to make a living selling my novels, so I began a process of elimination to decide exactly what kind of popular fiction I wanted write. When I discovered that romance would allow me to tell a variety of stories in a variety of settings – as long as the story revolved around a committed love relationship headed toward a happy ending – that’s the genre I chose.
I gave myself one year to get an agent and a publishing contract. I know, I know...that was insane. But it worked. By the time my deadline rolled around, I'd written three novels, snagged an agent, and got an editor when I randomly sat next to her at my very first writer's conference. Hence my philosophy on success: it's fifty percent had work, fifty percent luck, and ten percent ignorance. I was so clueless that I didn't know my goal was insane! (Yes, I realize that adds up to 110%, but math is not my strong suit.) So my first book was published in 2002 by St. Martin's Press, and I’ve written twenty-five novels and novellas since.
As we all know, life is not as neatly plotted as a novel, and I have had to push through some extremely difficult times. My marriage ended in 2005. In 2011 I was struck down by a sudden and unexplained illness that should have killed me. I won’t dwell on it here, but if you’re interested in reading more, please check out my blog at Blogger.com – UNBALANCED: Diary of a One-Legged Romance Writer. I survived, and I’m still writing. I had no choice. Writing is not only my livelihood, it's the way I process all things wonderful and tragic. Telling stories is my coping strategy, the way I sort the truth from the ridiculous.
My life is calm and peaceful now. I've moved to a small town (what’s with the small towns?!) in New Mexico, where I'm surrounded by sunshine, mountains, and wildlife. It is a perfect setting for letting my imagination run wild, and who knows where my writing will be headed next? I believe the possibilities are endless. Recently, something unexpected happened. My surroundings inspired me to share the mountain view -- and my writing experience -- with other authors. I'm now a writing coach, helping authors reach their goals with online and in-person coaching. I've even transformed my charming little adobe guest house into a comfortable and private retreat for writers. Maybe you'll be my next guest!
My days as a crazy stay-at-home mom are in the past. My kids are grown and pursuing their own dreams. I am very proud of both of them, and if there’s anything I’ve taught them I hope it’s this: you can do anything you set your mind to.
I'm so glad I moved back to New Mexico!
With my BFF, Arleen
With my son, Conor
World's strangest dogs...Marley and Mojo Jojo
My daughter, Kathleen