I was born in Fort Riley, Kansas in 1957. My father was a SFC in the U.S. Army, and died when I was fourteen. I lived in Junction City, Kansas until age 18, when I left to attend Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. I majored in Sociology; Gordon College is a well known, liberal arts school, a Christian "Ivy League" college. I fell in love with the ocean, the mountains, and the thick foliage. As a result, many of my stories take place in New England.
I married in 1980 to a young man I met while at school. We had three living children--two did not survive their premature births--and we had an unconventional life as a family. We moved a great deal: 16 times in 14 years. Between moving and traveling, I have had the pleasure of seeing 34 of 50 states, and hope that I will be able to see them all while I still have breath!
I have seen and experienced a great deal--homelessness, crime, robbery, and more. My youngest son is mildly autistic. All these I have put into my writing. After 15 years, my husband and I mutually decided that our marriage could not continue to be. Through a series of events, I relocated, of all places, to Utah, where I currently reside with my second husband, Tom. A month after our marriage, and 12 years after giving birth to my last child, I discovered that I was pregnant. I gave birth to a healthy little girl we named Lauren.
A month after her birth, I was diagnosed with symptoms of pneumonia, and hospitalized. Two days later, my heart crashed. I was put into ICU and was to have an emergency heart transplant. I was diagnosed with a rare heart disease called post partum cardiomyopathy. Though weak, I was released 11 days later, and put on a 20 pill a day regimen. My heart was enlarged, leaking blood, pumping irregularly and weakly, but I continued to hang on.
Although I did not know it, prayers flooded from Earth to Heaven on my behalf. Prayer chains across the country included my name. Month by month, I improved. I saw the heart transplant doctor, took multiple tests, and continued my pill regime. After a year's time, however, I had improved so much that they had to run tests to be sure that the numbers were correct. Moreover, my heart had shrunk back to its correct size (one in a million), my heart rate slowed from a resting pulse of 100 to 70 beats per minute, and my blood pressure was completely normal. In short, though I have some problems, I feel and live as a normal person. I only take four pills a day now, and I do not need a heart transplant.
I wrote my very first piece 20 years ago, after the loss of two children. It was to record my feelings and to try to make sense of the tragedy. Then I wrote an essay for our church bulletin on the phrase "good luck". I kept writing little things here and there, and discovered that I liked it. All through college, I'd joked about writing my life story. In 1989, when things were not going well for my marriage, I sought escape. I began a novel.
I wrote it by hand on scrap paper. Then I typed it and sent it in to Fleming H. Revell. I never heard from them, probably because I didn't send an SASE. But I'd activated a literary launch sequence inside myself. I was hooked on writing. I taught myself to write. I taught myself the business. I read books on writing (courtesy of the library, because I was broke). Then a friend gave me a bag of romances she was planning to sell at a yard sale. Good old Harlequin...the old fashioned, clean kind. I read one, then another, then another....and was hooked. So, I decided to try my hand at writing one. It was bad. Harlequin rejected it, but gave me positive feedback on it. So I wrote another. And another. And kept sending out that original one.
In 1994, I developed my own writer's magazine. It was called "Show and Tell Magazine". That did well, so I developed a romance journal. That was called "What's Love?" However, a low reader base and costs forced me to quit desktop publishing both in 1997. I had a couple of editorial positions, and about 75 publishing credits. I got a romance published in 1995, called "Stars" by Dare to Dream Publishing Company. The book bombed, and the company went down the drain shortly after, but I'd had a book published!
I kept sending out that original novel to every Christian publisher in the book, and kept getting rejected. I re-wrote it more than once, put it away with tears, and then pulled it out, read it, and felt that there was something special about it. Meanwhile, I tried my hand at mystery, and won a contract with Port Town Publishing. The result is "VetCop", my romantic suspense novel, released in February 2002. A sequel is in the works, plus a science fiction thriller, and another romantic suspense to be published by New Concepts Publishing.
Last year, I purchased a fresh copy of Sally Stuart's Christian Writer's Guide, and decided to start at the top at peddling my original novel. Again. I was stunned, in April 2002, to receive word that my first novel, "Forgotten" had been accepted for publication! It was released in July. Whatever else I write and see published will never be as great as having that one really special book in print!
For relaxation and fun, I collect porcelain dolls. I currently own approximately 20 of various sizes, ethnicities, and styles. I have restored a few dolls. I also sew clothing for dolls, as well as sewing clothes for myself and my family. I love to crochet. I make up patterns and designs, crochet afghans and baby blankets, and usually end up giving them away.
Something a lot of people don't know about me is that I have retrograde amnesia. I cannot remember my childhood, nor the event that caused me to lose my memory. What I do know of my upbringing is the result of my siblings telling me stories. By the way, I have 3 brothers: Douglas, Ronnie, and Kevin, and one sister, Judith. None are writers, but they are wonderful people. My mother is still living. She's still going strong at age 72, an excellent seamsstress, and is living a full life in Los Angeles, California.
I don't think I will ever lose my love of publishing, thus, Inspirations. I wanted a safe place on the Web; a feel good web site that offers a little something of everything. You will probably see pictures of my beloved children, including our blended family one day soon, and my two precious dogs, Chelsea Blueberry (a brown beagle) and Jock Kestow (a Dachshund).
Thanks for visiting, and God bless.