Inauspicious Beginnings A stormy home life, contrary nature and bad temper, characterized my early years. Through often-earned time-outs and unattended play, my imagination blossomed - though I wouldn’t recommend this approach for fostering creativity in other children.
I hated most of elementary school and, one day in the fifth grade, simply stopped going. Two weeks later, my parents found out and the jig was up. The next year, they sent me to a private girls’ school.
Microscopically small classes, engaged and demanding teachers, and a location in the middle of nowhere, proved to be just what my lazy intellect needed. During the next seven years, I discovered my natural aptitude for foreign languages and writing. Also, while in high school, I had the opportunity to spend a year in France. The experience changed my world view forever.
Go Blue! College began at Beloit, where I’d been offered a presidential scholarship. While taking 17 hours of classes, I also taught belly dancing at the local Y and, for a short time, even had my own cable television show. But Beloit was too little for my big ambitions. I transferred to the University of Michigan, got into the Honors program and studied Chinese and Russian.
Then my step dad died.
I was already scheduled to go to the Chinese University of Hong Kong as an exchange student. Reeling from his death, I went anyway, dropped out of school while there, and floundered for quite a while. I finally found a new equilibrium and graduated in 1975.
A Public Relations Maven is Born. In 1984, I returned to school and earned a master’s degree in social work with a specialty in cross-cultural therapy. However, I never worked as a therapist. Instead, the jobs I loved best involved writing, media relations, creating newsletters and customer service. I finally realized that all the different ways I’d earned my living could be called “public relations.” For the next 20 years, I worked in corporate and nonprofit settings, as well as owning my solo consulting business.
Dreams Deserve Nurturing. As long as I can remember, I dreamed of penning a novel. I had this romantic notion that writers made big money and sat all day in cafes drinking espressos and thinking profound thoughts. I wanted to be part of that idealized world but didn’t know how to begin.
One day, while pregnant and irritable, I read a particularly bad mystery and got angry. “If that author can get published, then so can I,” I thought. With fury as my fuel, I proceeded to write my very own piece of mediocrity. Many contests, rejections and successes later, I began my freelancing career. All the while, I kept on working toward the publication of my fiction.
THE CLOVIS INCIDENT is the third manuscript I’d written. It was the first to sell. The other two remind me of just how bad I can be.
THE BELEN HITCH was published in 2005. And THE SOCORRO BLAST (January 2008) represents my third foray into the Sasha Solomon adventures.
Right now, I’m working on the 4th Sasha book and am starting a new series featuring Darnda Jones, a singularly misanthropic and quirky psychic, who was introduced in THE BELEN HITCH. Who knows? Sasha might make an appearance in Darnda’s series from time to time.
My advice to writers:
Learn to edit yourself well.
Learn to accept constructive criticism.
Don’t be afraid to revise and rewrite.
Let your work breathe and ripen before you send it out.
Never, ever, give up.
Writing cannot move another person without the author’s hard work and personal fortitude.
To all of you who dream of publication - believe me - persistence pays off.
"...her best work yet . . . "
First Lady of New Mexico
"...extremely enjoyable reading."
--Romantic Times Bookclub