When I was in sixth grade, I learned about meteorologists and decided I wanted to be one. My visions of chasing tornados throughout the Midwest and flying through hurricanes didn't pan out. Mostly because I wasn't good at forecasting, and my grades weren't exactly stellar. Let's face it, I'm a daydreamer--always have been, always will be.
I did graduate from Penn State University and was hired as an environmental meteorologist--try and say that five times fast ;) and I started writing when bored at work. It's never a good idea to get caught just staring out the window, so I wrote my daydreams down. After fooling around with short stories, I wrote my first novel, Poison Study. It was published sixteen years later. A lesson in patience and persistence! I had caught the writing bug and Magic Study and Fire Study soon followed. (And then Shadow Study, Night Study and Dawn Study because my readers begged, pleaded, and gave me puppy dog eyes to write more Study books ;).
Even though I went on to earn a Masters degree in writing from Seton Hill University, I never lost my fascination with storms, which is evident in my Glass Series (Storm Glass, Sea Glass and Spy Glass), and I still consider myself an environmentalist. The green part of me comes out in both Inside Out and Outside In. Trella's world is contained inside a big metal cube and they must reuse and recycle everything. One thing they got right in one otherwise messed-up world!
For my Healer series, I happily let my nurturing side take over. When my children were sick, I always wanted to take away their pain with a touch. I was even willing to endure their cold or flu in their stead. Since I'm unable to do that in real life, I was able to have the main character, Avry have that power in the Healer books. Touch of Power starts the series with Avry on the run in a world recovering from a devastating plague. Scent of Magic is the second book and the third is Taste of Darkness.
Aside from a writer, I'm also a teacher and mentor for students enrolled in Seton Hill University's MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction. I enjoy working with aspiring writers and helping them complete their novels. I've won a half dozen awards and been on the New York Times bestseller list, but nothing compares to being the proud mentor come graduation day!
Other things I enjoy are playing volleyball, photography and traveling. I'll go anywhere at anytime - much to my mother's dismay since my husband and I frequently bring along our son and daughter on our adventures.
I love my job. Where else can you take fencing lessons, learn how to ride a horse, study martial arts, learn how to pick a lock, take glass blowing classes and get a personal tour of a maximum security prison and call it all research? I'll give you a hint--not working as a meteorologist.