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My first love will always be writing. Simply put, it’s a part of who I am.
I grew up in a large Irish/American family, where there was always somebody spinning some colourful yarn of a tale and I must have been about eleven or twelve before I realised that making up stories wasn’t something that everybody did.
I married shortly after leaving school, had a daughter, then promptly got divorced. As a single mom and the sole breadwinner, raising my child alone became my top priority. I found a way to attend college part time in the evenings, but this left me with precious little time to pursue my dream of being a writer. During those years my urge to write never left and I always kept a journal, and often wrote short stories just for my own gratification.
Then, after seven years of being single, I met my soul mate. Following a lovely yearlong courtship, Brad and I married. We had planned to start a family immediately, but as well all know, things don’t always work out as you plan and almost nine years later, long after we had given up any hope of having more children, I gave birth to another daughter. Whenever people are surprised about the seventeen year age gap between our daughters, my husband always tells them that we planned it that way – he laughs that the only way you can afford to educate kids these days is to spread them out! With the birth of my second daughter, I quit working and stayed home to be a full-time Mom, a luxury (and joy) that I did not have when my older daughter was an infant. For the next five years, I continued to write for my own pleasure, but I simply didn’t have the nerve to submit anything – I thought you had to be a Hemingway or a Fitzgerald or someone of that ilk, to be taken seriously.
Eventually, after putting my youngest child on the bus for her first day of kindergarten, for the first time in my life I had no job to rush off to, no classes to take, and I had the entire house all to myself – I realised that it was now or never. I marched home from that school bus stop and plopped myself down in front of my fifteen-year-old typewriter and started my first novel. (At that point, I hadn’t even heard of a personal computer. Since then I’ve gone through five of them.)
The first novel I wrote was awful. The next one was better, and the one after that, better still, but not quite good enough. I knew that because the rejection letters were getting more encouraging and much more personal. I still have those first three efforts in a drawer, and every now and then I take them out and skim a few pages and laugh.
I sold my first novel in 1983, after winning the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award for the best unpublished novel in a category. I have been working as a full-time writer ever since. I’m a native Texan and lived in Houston all my life – until 1993, when Brad and I built our dream home and moved to the mountains of Colorado.
Besides writing, I also enjoy other creative activities such as oil painting, sewing, sketching, knitting, and needlepoint. But my first love will always be writing. As I say – it’s simply part of who I am.
Hello and welcome to my page! Let me tell you a little bit about me...
I was born somewhere in Europe and kidnapped by gypsies when I was a small child. I went on to join the Romanian circus as a trapeze artist and lion tamer. When the circus came to South Florida, I stayed, discovering that I preferred to be a shark and gator trainer.
I am the child of Scottish and Irish immigrants who met and married in Chicago, and moved to South Florida, where I spent my life. (I have, at least, been to the Russian circus in Moscow, where I wished I was one of the incredibly talented and coordinated trapeze artists.) I majored in Theatre Arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theatre back-up vocals and bartending, I stayed home after the birth of my third child and began to write. I have now written over 150 novels and novellas including category, suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult, horror, and Christmas family fare.
I love to travel and anything that has to do with the water, and am a certified scuba diver. I also love ballroom dancing. Each year I host the Vampire Ball and Dinner theatre at the RT convention raising money for the Pediatric Aids Society and since 2006 I have hosted annually the Writers for New Orleans Workshop to benefit the stricken Gulf region. I am proudly the founder of The Slush Pile Players, presenting something that's almost like entertainment for various conferences and benefits. Married since high school graduation and the mother of five, my greatest love in life remains my family, but I also believe my career has been an incredible gift, and I am grateful every day to be doing something that I love so very much for a living.
Love with the Proper Stranger