Connect with Shirl
Working my way through college provided great life experiences for a novelist, even though I didn't know back then I was destined to be one. Even my well-paid jobs never particularly satisfied me – until I had a chance to teach history in a large northeastern university. I loved it. Until the state dropped the history requirement and therefore my instructorship. It was all downhill from there until I eventually ended up teaching remedial English. That's when I finally figured out what I wanted to do when I grew up.
I've always been an avid reader, everything from Robert Heinlein's sci-fi adventures to Frank Yerby's historical romantic sagas. I was born with stories in my head, but never had the epiphany to write them. Okay, maybe I just didn't have the courage. But facing one more bundle of freshman themes drove me to realise maybe writing a book might be easier. It sure was more fun! Since selling my first novel to Warner Books, I've never looked back. I'm proud to say I've appeared on the USA Today bestseller list, been a RITA Finalist and won seven awards from Romantic Times.
My husband – a former sailor, cab driver, bartender, judo instructor and English professor – is a scholarly authority on obscene slang and a master at its use, but an understanding man who puts up with my all-night writing sprees and sudden dashes to my desk to jot down bits of dialogue while dinner burns. Since taking early retirement, he helps me brainstorm plots and do research. After four years in the U.S. Air Force, our son works in telecommunications and lives in an adjacent county. Jim and I now share our cedar house in the woods with a pair of utterly adorable tomcats. Just as life without writing would be unimaginable, so would life without our cats.
When I'm not at the computer or off researching a new book, I cook large dinners for our extended family, putter in my garden and greenhouse, and read voraciously. I'm a member of the Author's Guild, Romance Writers of America, Missouri Romance Writers, Sisters in Crime, Novelists Inc. and International Thriller Writers.