Yes, I'm one of "those people" who has always been a writer! I told stories from my earliest days and my favorite childhood activity was going to the library to check out books. I read and wrote every day--at restaurants, as a passenger in the car, and while my parents shopped at stores. I've always been an introvert so it was common for me to disappear at family gatherings to write. Even with my friends, I created a group called The Writers Club to write shorts stories and critique each other's work.
In high school, I became editor of my school's literary magazine and had articles published in the local newspaper--but I wanted to touch lives through books as they had for me, so I was devastated to learn being a novelist wasn't a "real job." I put my passion on hold when I went to Iowa State University, majored in journalism and mass communication, and enjoyed hosting an entertainment show on the campus TV station. English was my minor so I wrote for my college magazine and had several articles published in a newspaper where I interned for two summers.
I graduated in 2002 and worked in both television and radio for the next few years. In 2003, I married my college sweetheart, had a son in 2008, and a daughter in 2011.
My life-long ambition never wavered, though. I joined the Romance Writers of America in 2005 and submitted my first manuscript in 2006, followed by another in 2007. When publication fell through for both, I took a hiatus to be a stay-at-home-mom. My RWA membership expired in 2009, but I re-joined in 2013 after my oldest child started kindergarten. Every November, writers are encouraged to join NaNoWriMo (write 50,000 words in one month). I'd never participated but decided to try. Although it wasn't a romance like my previous books, an inspirational story came to me in a dream (about a missing child, mental illness, adoption, and marriage) so I immediately got to work. It was literally a "dream come true" when I was offered a contract in December 2013 for The 20th Christmas. The novel was released at Barnes & Noble on October 1, 2014, and on November 6th I was ranked an Amazon Best Selling Author when The 20th Christmas reached a #3 spot. On Black Friday it reached the Top 10 list again (#8 for Christian Fiction) and a third & fourth time in December 2014.
In 2015, I signed a contract for my second inspirational novel, Caged Dove, about a woman who was bullied as a young girl and returns to her hometown after being gone for fifteen years. After getting divorced, she's stranded with her high school crush. A dramatic chain of events weave her life with a teenager contemplating suicide. I spoke on a national radio talk show about my personal experience with bullying, and was featured in print and online articles.
Thank you for all of the requests wanting another book! After putting health problems behind us in 2019, I traded the RWA for the Sisters In Crime writers group and Women's Fiction Writers Association. In 2020, I signed a contract with a publisher for my next book to be released--about a woman who learns the identity of her father when she's thirty years old. She travels to a festive town during the week of Valentine's Day to meet her sister--where the man who broke her heart eight years ago lives. It's also the story of a mother and daughter's relationship after they unknowingly made parallel life decisions. I believe spirituality and sexuality are both important components to being human, so while my first two novels were clean stories that centered around faith, my third book is mainstream fiction due to a sexual subject matter. My goal has always been to write about people who make mistakes and try to improve themselves, don't judge, and the self-acceptance that results from loving everyone. I plan to write a new book every year for the rest of my life but am using a pen name now so, as of 2020, this website is no longer active. No matter what genre I write, the consistent theme will always be hope. I believe when we live with hope then our own stories will have a happy ending!