Connect with Helen
Greetings from Texas!
I've lived here in Texas for over half of my life, although I was born in New Jersey. I grew up a tomboy and was active in all of the school sports, but loved to travel into New York City to sightsee and enjoy Broadway musicals. Two strong desires preoccupied me while growing up – one was to become a writer, and the other was to live on a ranch, so when my parents decided to move south due to my mother's weak lungs, I just knew I was going to have at least one wish come true. Sure enough, in 1983, my husband and I moved to Crooked Pine Ranch, our eighty-acre property in the Piney Woods of East Texas, in a house that we built together. We had every kind of wildlife you can imagine – deer, foxes, turkeys... even a stray bear and cougar, plus several varieties of snakes.
I sold the second book I ever finished in 1986 – on Hallowe'en, no less. It was called Partners For Life and became a Golden Medallion (now called the RITA) finalist. I've been nominated two more times since, and won in 1993. I've also won several other awards and have been on bestseller lists including USA Today, along with the top chain bookstores' lists. Writing has also made it possible for me to travel and I've been up and down both coasts of the U.S. and many of the states in-between, plus Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda.
Sadly, my husband Robert died suddenly in 2006, and it was clear that Crooked Pine was too large for me to manage by myself. I had my dear Aunt Pauline in failing health at the time, so I bought a smaller place – just an acre and a half – and moved her in with me. She loved to travel with me on speaking engagements and earned the nickname The Duchess from many of the friends we made along the way. Now she's gone, too, but life remains busy. Dogs are another of my passions and I have four large rescued dogs. They're all Lab mixed and range in ages from five to fifteen-plus years old. When we're not working in the yard or running errands in town (yes, they love to drive around with me) I'm caring for my neighbour's pygmy goats. I love gardening and have several flowerbeds as well as a vegetable garden. That and visiting with friends fills all of the time that I'm not writing. Fortunately, I don't need much sleep and mostly rise around 3am to help get everything done that I want or need to in a day. If you'd like to know more or get in touch, please visit my website.