I am a mother of four who writes full-time from a suburb outside St. Louis, Missouri. I began my writing career as a newspaper reporter in Boston, but after the birth of my first child, I took a desk job as a sports copy editor at the Boston Herald where I was the only female "rimmie" on the night desk. The men I worked with were incredible and, unbeknownst to most of them, have served as the real-life examples for several of the heroes in my romance novels.
Primarily, I write romance novels and picture books, but I've written educational text and young adult novels as well.
I'm often asked which I prefer writing, romance novels for adults or picture books for children. The question is rather like being asked which of your children you prefer.
I enjoy both genres. Both require lots of research and creativity, and both are satisfying in their own ways. I draw on real people and real life for my romance novels, which can turn readers off when a fictional character I've modeled after a real person doesn't behave as they'd like, or if they can't connect with the character.
For my picture books, I've always chosen real people, and I work hard to provide honest portrayals of my subjects. I love the freedom fiction allows me but I also love the unflinching truth of my picture books.
My fiction writing suffered in 2008, when I was diagnosed with colon cancer. The book I was writing at the time is evidence of the anger, frustration, confusion and fear I experienced during surgery, chemotherapy and their aftermaths. Since I put so much of my own experiences and relationships in my books, my writing became muddied by personal turmoil.
I like to think that as I recovered, so did my writing. Cancer gave me a fresh perspective and a fearlessness that I hadn't had before. My December 2011 release, Everything in Between, marks the end of my romance writing career. (Or so I keep telling myself!) That will be good news to some of my critics, but for those who like my writing, I'm attempting to branch into another genre.
I'm starting over anew, but I feel I'm up to the challenge. I owe my readers a debt of gratitude for their support, interest and encouragement over the years, and not just because they invest their time and finances in my work. In my darkest moments, readers have been the people who pulled me from despair and self pity. Readers are the ones who complete all of my stories, because without them, no story ever truly lives.