I was born in central Illinois and lived in a little town of 800 people. There was a farm with dairy cows at the end of the street, an apple tree on the corner and every other house had a vegetable garden. The family across the street had a back yard filled with flowers, and violets grew wild in the ditch beneath the canopy of an old shade tree. No one locked their doors and we rode our bikes all over town for hours on end without anyone panicking. Mail had to be picked up at the post office.
It was the perfect place for a kid to grow up. The grade school was within walking distance one block down and the high school sat on the corner beyond the farm at the end of the street. Teenagers could earn pocket money in the summer by “walking beans.” Shoes? Who needed them in the summer when the grass was soft and the sun was warm?
My parents loved books and our home became filled with them. Weaving stories was a natural by-product of playing, and I began writing them down as soon as I learned to write. I wrote two romantic novellas in my early teens and quickly realized how much fun stories with heroes, heroines and the path to a happily ever after ending were to write.
I married my high school sweetheart, and together with our three children, we moved with him wherever his career took him–even to Brazil. What an adventure! Today we call Alabama home and the joys and hassles of moving all over the place are no more, for which we are both thankful.
Life is filled with passion—good, bad, humorous, sad—and the books I enjoy most are brimming with all the passions that make people human. Realistic characters who strive to overcome their deepest fears and who live and love with every fiber of their being are the heart and soul of a good story. Those are the stories I love reading and writing and the stories I know you enjoy, too.