I wrote some books and that makes curious people ask questions. Usually, they want to know how a writer gets started down the wordy path. So here you go, the nitty gritty on me being a word nerd.
Here’s the short version:
Writer. Anthropologist. Inspired by rocks, empty landscapes, ancient art & prehistory. Pens historical & contemporary mystery, suspense, and horror – with romance, of course.
Here’s the long version – don’t say I didn’t warn you:
I wrote my first book at the tender age of eleven. I still have it somewhere although the pages long ago yellowed. It was typed on my mother’s vintage portable electric typewriter, the kind with a fabric ribbon that had dried out and so the type was faded. The “e” key kept snapping off and had to be glued back on until it would no longer hold. That manuscript has every letter “e” carefully penciled in. I should excavate it from the stacks of teen-angst poetry and see what my adolescent self thought was worth writing about.
Over the years I got distracted with life and college and a few romances of my own. Eventually generating an income subsumed the writing urge. Until a couple years ago when it swam to the surface and kicked every thing else to the curb. Hard. The great thing about all that living in between is getting to use all the success and misery, travel and discovery, to inform my work. I’ve got stacks of stuff to sort through, journals and research, papers and articles, more research, reams of fieldwork notes, etc. Lots of raw material to draw upon. If I have to categorize my writing then it most closely aligns to a jumble of these genres: mystery, suspense, paranormal, and romance.
Many opportunities to meet and listen to other writers have come my way. Most of those experiences occurred in conferences and workshops but a few personal interactions I credit to living a wicked and self-gratifying life. Anne Rice once bade me good morning in front of St. Louis #2 in New Orleans. That was a good day. Another time I bumped into Jeffrey Deaver in a restaurant in Pacific Grove. Delicious. In the midst of admiring an outdoor sculpture in Seattle I realized the man sitting next to me was Sherman Alexie. Awesome.
It’s the simple things that make me happy. I adore skulking around conferences and sitting through workshops. As a child I quickly learned that eavesdroping was both rewarding and useful. Which is why I know ALL the dirty secrets in the family.
On the professional side I’ve earned degrees in anthropology and education, teaching credentials, technology certifications, and bunches of professional affiliations. I’ve conducted extensive anthropological fieldwork in the United States and Canada; travelled many places but not everywhere yet; interviewed a great many people; picked up more roadkill and processed more animal remains than the general public would believe; evaluated and graded thousands (count’em) of research papers, and have former students all over the world. That’s pretty cool. I’m proud of all that stuff and all of them.
…but this is for me.