Why I Started Writing:
The craft of story has always played a significant role in my life, beginning with Little Golden Books as an early grade-schooler.
As a tween, I began to make the mile-long trek to the library with a little neighborhood gang of four or five other kids. During summers, every two weeks we exchanged one stack of books for another. When we didn’t have a game of workup baseball going in the street, or maybe kick-the-can, I spent my time reading beneath the shade elm in our front yard or in my bedroom with the radio playing softly in the background.
This is about the time I met Nancy Drew. With Nancy, I went on spine-chilling adventures, searching out clues to solve a variety of mysteries. I felt the tingle across my skin, the lump of fear and excitement in my chest, as we made one eerie discovery after another. And I fell in love—with the suspense of it all.
My sister and I made up our own adventures and acted them out—mostly at our grandparents’ home. Built in the 1920s, their house offered a curved stair banister and lots of nooks and crannies to feed our active imaginations. I’m sure it would surprise no one to learn that we always solved the case.
As an adult, I read a wide variety of genres, but never lost my taste for intrigue. As my faith matured, I began to miss the anchor of a wise and caring God in the stories I read. How could anyone get through all those harrowing experiences without knowing that my Jesus stood in their corner? In my world, they couldn’t—not without losing their mind.
Eventually, I discovered faith-based fiction. And, as I read, a seed of an idea took root and grew. Maybe I could dig deep into the well of that intrigue I loved and tell stories where people get into trouble—lots of trouble, and often as a result of their own choices—with Jesus standing right there, ready to offer hope and peace to those who call on him. Well, maybe with a few doses of guidance along the way, as well.
I can do this, I decided. I want to do this.
So, I set out to write the great American—Christian—novel.
Authors Who Have Influenced Me:
I have read—and thoroughly enjoyed—a wide range of genres in my lifetime that have helped shape my worldview. To keep my author list manageable, I will stick to those who fostered my desire to write suspense.
Carolyn Keene, the author of the Nancy Drew series, would, of course, place first and foremost. Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, and (probably the most influential author of my early adulthood) Helen MacInness pulled me deeper into a world of heart-pounding intrigue.
Although they wrote from a more historical perspective, Catherine Marshall and Bodie Thoene, introduced a vision of how story can inspire a reliance on God through often traumatic circumstances. I set out to marry my two loves—suspense and faith.
At my very first writer’s conference, I met Francine Rivers at a time when editors and agents were telling me that suspense would never sell in the Christian market. She said, “If you believe God is leading you in that direction, don’t stop.” While I’m sure she would never remember a chance encounter with a fledgling author, I say, “Thank you for that advice, Francine.”
Books I Have Written:
Ashes in the Wind, my first and—so far—only novel is the result of countless hours of writing, editing, learning, more editing. It is the story of a young woman whose life is turned upside down by the murder of her DEA agent husband and her efforts to push past her fears and prove wrong the accusations that he was a dirty cop. This adventure puts her up against a man who must stop her at any cost in order to preserve the life he has carved out for himself. In the process, she finds the God she has never known and a future she didn’t believe possible.
What I'm Working On Now:
Suspense, of course.
I took a hiatus to get my life back on track and recover from the loss of my late husband, but have begun work on a new novel about two of the characters from Ashes in the Wind.
Night Shadows follows a young woman with a secret past. When her daughter is almost burned to death in a warehouse fire, the ensuing media attention makes her the star of the current news cycle. And that puts her in danger from the man she fears most. This man has a lot to lose—his important position, his wife and family, and his political future. Only one thing can bring him down: a young woman he met as an accident of fate.
You’ll want to see how this young woman makes her own journey from darkness into the light of faith.