More About the Author
My husband snapped these photos of me in 1986 when we became engaged, a pivotal event for my future as an author because, seven years later, he agreed I should quit the very fulfilling international career in electrical engineering I'd been pursuing and stay in this country more. He knew I wanted to write fiction, but the idea terrified me. I didn't know how to begin, though I could almost feel the words trying to get out. After months of avoidance, I set an appointment with myself, just as I had in business. I would become a writer on July 28, 1993 at 6: 30 a.m. No phones, no email, no interruptions. I would sit down and write the first scene of my first novel. And I did.
Not having studied creative writing, I didn't yet see the wizard behind the curtain -- the elements of craft behind the art. For painters it's perspective, composition, etc. For singers its breath control, phrasing. For novelists it's point of view, scene and sequel, characterization, plot, narrative voice. Luckily, a knowledgeable person pointed out that, as a result, my first novel was unreadable. A revelation. Chagrined, I headed straight for the bookstore, bought everything I could find on fiction writing then settled in, studying like I was back in school. I didn't come up for air until I had a clear understanding of the tools of my trade.
What compelled me to do this was love of words, the lure of story. People tell me that even as a child I made up stories. To me, nothing sounds more magical than, "Once upon a time." Even the cliched, "It was a dark and stormy night," sends my imagination spinning. Where and when is this dark night and who is telling us about it? Is she or he drenched, by any chance? Why is she out in the storm? How will he find shelter? Is there a road? What's at the end of it? Irresistible. At age eleven I fell in love with the French author, Sidonie Colette, and by the time I left for college I'd read every novel in the house -- Balzac, Buck, Flaubert, Dickens, Hemingway, Hugo, Steinbeck, Richard Wright and so many more. It didn't cross my mind that I might one day be a writer, too.
By my third novel, THE CROWNING CIRCLE (MURDER WITHOUT MOTIVE in Kindle), I decided to self-publish to get reality on whether I really should have quit my day job. It was excruciating, waiting for the first Amazon customer reviews, but they completely restored my confidence. Because of them, I'll write until I can't hold a pen or sit at a keyboard. They were my first readers and they kept me going.
THE JESUS THIEF was my breakthrough. It hit the Amazon mystery/thriller bestseller list, earned a starred review from BOOKLIST, was nominated for awards, optioned for Hollywood film and translated into five languages. One eminent cloning scientist expressed concern that the book's scientific detail was so convincing, readers might think the story was real. Obstacles seemed to melt away as I wrote, traveling to Italy and New York for on-site research. Writing the sequel, THE SECRET MADONNA, was an equal joy. The next one is entitled THE SACRED IMPOSTOR and came out October 22, 2012. THE COVERT MESSIAH, due out September 9, 2013, had me yearning to get on a plane to Tanzania, where part of it takes place.