“Tell me a little about yourself.”
I confess this invitation often makes me stammer. “Um. Well. Uh.” I’m probably not as interesting as you hope I am, I’m saying in my head. As I write this, two overflowing baskets of laundry at my feet wait to be sorted and folded. I need to pay some bills. Outside, weeds and spent growth rule my yard. Pretty ordinary stuff!
At the end of my junior year in high school, my college-bound friends registered for a “pre-college composition” class offered during our senior year. My English teacher discovered I also planned to enroll in the course and told me my writing already did everything the class would teach. I remember the moment. I knew I enjoyed writing, but to have a teacher I admired offer such affirmation—well, it stuck with me.
After college I had various jobs that offered me opportunity to write for organizational purposes. Only a few years ago did I decide to seriously focus on writing fiction for adults. Don’t ask me what’s on my bucket list because I don’t have one, but becoming a novelist was something I’d always wanted to do. It was time to try. My first book released in 2012.
Now the question I get often is “What kind of books do you write?” And again I stammer. I’ve written historical fiction. I’ve written Amish fiction. I’ve written historical Amish fiction. I’ve written contemporary fiction. I’ve written stories where romance is essential to the plot and stories where it is an element, but not the main thing. I’ve written mysteries. I’ve written full-length novels, short-form novels, and novellas.
Eighteen books later, this one truth I cannot deny: I am captivated by the way the past shapes the present. Even if I write a contemporary story, something from the past will influence a plot twist. If I write a mystery, something from the past will be key to solving the mystery in the present. I just can’t shake my fascination with history!
“What’s your next book?” is another frequent question. In this case, it’s just around the corner. Colors of Christmas releases October 1 and has two stories in it, “Christmas in Blue” and “Christmas in Gold.” And yes, one of them weaves in some history. I just couldn’t leave it alone.
The barebone facts? I’m an Illinois native happily transplanted to Colorado for the last 21 years. Married. An adult son and daughter, and a son-in-law who just fixed up my car after a collision with an antelope. Along with the weeds, my summer yard was a glorious, wild riot of irises, daylilies, snow-in-summer, larkspur, lamb’s ear, cosmos, and sunflowers. Oh, goodness, do I have sunflowers.
I’ll send a signed print copy of Colors of Christmas to one random commenter below. (Make sure we have a valid way to contact you for a physical address.) Leave a comment by 5:00 Eastern on Friday, September 15 answering this question: What’s your favorite genre to read and why?