Why I Started Writing:
I’ve loved to write for as long as I can remember. My diary was my treasured companion when I was a little girl, and to this day, my early mornings include writing long hand in my journal. I love language and the written word. As a high school freshman, I wrote a play that was published and produced. Somehow, I always knew I’d write novels “when I grew up …”
Like all published writers, I wrote a thousand versions of my first book and weathered about as many rejections before I finally got the formula right. I have worked with some amazing professionals and spent five years honing my writing before finding a good fit with the right publisher for my work. Even though as an educator I should have seen this coming, I was surprised how much better my writing has become as I work through each book. Writing is a skill, and like any other, you get better at your craft as you practice it. Having the opportunity to learn from other writers, editors, publishers, publicists, and agents in the field has helped me grow as a writer, and I am grateful for my friends in the field.
Suspense was one of my first loves. Enticing my readers to stay up late, wondering whether they locked their own doors, keeps me coming back to the keyboard. I want them to experience the full range of human emotions alongside my characters as they cope with complicated life events. I want my readers to feel tension as they wonder whether difficult circumstances will serve to make my characters better—or bitter. Finally, I want my readers to get a glimpse of the spiritual world, to be surprised by hope, and to develop a hunger and a thirst for spiritual truth.
Authors Who Have Influenced Me:
I’ve loved to read since the beginning of time. My earliest love was Black Beauty, followed closely by Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series. Marguerite Henry’s books lined my shelves for decades. I fell in love with C.S. Lewis as a young teen and when I was twelve years old, I read a book called Madame Guyonne that changed the way I looked at myself and my place in this world.
I’m very eclectic in my reading tastes. You’ll find theology, fiction of all genres, zombie lit, leadership books, relationship books, positive psychology, organizational development, and a host of personal favorites (Black Beauty comes back to mind) on my shelves and my e-readers. I read and listen to books everyday—it’s one of my guilty pleasures!
Books I Have Written:
I think of my first two novels—Cleansed by Death and the award-winning sequel, Shattered by Death—as thrillers with a spiritual kick. Anchored by Death, book three in my Jo Oliver Thriller series was published by Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. in 2017, and the thriller factor is alive and well—even as some characters may not be!
What I'm Working On Now:
In addition to the Jo Oliver Thriller series, I am slowly writing two non-fiction books on leadership and I have a few other projects chasing me through the night.