Although born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, I lived with my parents, three sisters, and a menagerie of pets in Camp Springs, Maryland through the 1960s. I never crawled, but rolled, then walked. My mother claimed I started speaking in full sentences as a two-year-old. I devoured books as soon as I learned to read (influenced by my mother and older sisters), and wrote stories that, to me, seemed fascinating. We moved west to Colorado in 1969 after Washington DC's racial riots convinced my parents to find another place to raise their family (according to my mom; Dad said it was just a job transfer. I prefer the more dramatic story). We settled in Englewood, a south Denver suburb.
After graduating from high school, I moved out on my own. In addition to singing in bars with rock-and-roll bands, I tried various jobsplumber, cook, secretarybefore settling into a marketing and advertising career that would last over 15 years.
In 1989 I met a handsome Australian bloke named Matt in a band a mutual acquaintance was forming. Mattan electrical engineer by day and guitarist by nighthad transferred to the US with his company for a couple of years. The band didn't make it, but Matt and I became an acoustic duo, playing at festivals and in coffee houses. We married in 1992. Needless to say, he hasn't moved back to Australia yet, though we visit there regularly. He has mostly lost the accent, but he is still a handsome bloke.
By age 35 I'd become director of sales and marketing for a Denver firm, but I was burned out. I realized I wanted a less stressful, more reflective life. With Matt's support, I left my job and began to write and learn about the business of writing. I considered this period my apprenticeship, the college education I'd missed. Within a year or so I was regularly publishing in newspapers and magazines in the Rocky Mountain region, as well as getting the odd article placed in national magazines such as Mademoiselle, Glamour, Southwest Art, Natural Home, and various inflight publications. I'd also had a short story published and was working on a novel based on it.
In 2002, Matt and I moved to Portland, Oregon. My first novel, Riding with the Queen, was published by NAL, a division of Penguin Group, soon thereafter in 2003. After a subsequent move to Seattle in 2005, my second novel, Eating Heaven, was released. Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe followed in 2008 and When She Flew in 2009.
Gallery Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, published my fifth novel, Love Water Memory, in April of 2013. And I am in the thick of writing the next one, and dreaming about the one after that.
I found my vocation in my avocation. Aristotle said, "Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your vocation," and I hope I have something to contribute with my stories. Readers seem to appreciate them, anyway. I have always written, even when not being paid to, trying to examine the universal story through a personal lens. I write to put another voice, another viewpoint, out into a world where too many of the voices I hear aren't telling my story, or my family's and friends' stories. Reading was my salvation as a kid, and now, writing is.
Volunteer work has always been an important part of my life. I currently volunteer at 826 Seattle helping kids write better and with my own nonprofit authors' collective, Seattle7Writers.
When not working, I enjoy being with friends and family, traveling, exploring, learning things, cooking, gardening, watching movies, reading books, and quite often, just sitting and thinking.