I can’t say that I’m one of those authors who announced to their mother at the age of six that they were going to be a writer. My first declared career choice was detective. I was reading Nancy Drew at the time, and half in love with Ned Nickerson. A distinct aversion to eminent bodily harm, however, made the career choice an impractical one.
The notion I could be a detective, though, came from a book. Books have always been a treasured companion, a source of knowledge, and a means to travel beyond my world and experience since I first discovered The Poky Little Puppy and The Little Engine That Could in Golden books. It wasn’t a far hop from a love of reading to a love of creating my own stories as well.
When that practical streak (the one that steered me away from private detection) reared its head, I began a career in pharmacy. An admittedly varied career, for I’ve worked in just about every field of pharmacy except sales. My years of writing drug monographs, however, strengthened a heartfelt appreciation for the joys of fiction. When I became a stay-at-home mom, it seemed a perfect time to take the stories I’d been spinning and do something about putting the dream of getting published into practice.
I discovered creating characters and plot an irresistible challenge. Especially when it meant I got to live with djinn, elves, and meddling Greek gods. And I got to be the detective, the magician, the chef, the villain, hero, and heroine.
Five manuscripts and six years later, my first book, Wishes Come True, was published in 1998. Since then, my books have won a Golden Heart, a SARA Rising Star Grand Prize, the Holt Medallion, the Colorado Award of Excellence, the PRISM Award, and the National Reader’s Choice Award and been a finalist RWA’s RITA. After living for eighteen years in New Orleans, I’ve returned to my birth state of Michigan with a husband, three children, and two cats. Along with learning the ins and outs of empty nesting now that all three kids are in college, a commitment (again) to really sticking with an exercise program, and a home health care variation to the pharmacy career, I still find that creating characters and plot is an irresistible challenge.
Only, in my books, Ned and Nancy are all grown up and falling in love.