Writing has always been my sole marketable skill, thanks to those D’s on my report card for math and handwriting in second grade (seriously, what teacher is that coldhearted that she’d do that to a 7-year old?). Early on I learned I could boost my flagging math grades by writing extra-credit reports (shame that handwriting never improved). I figured if I couldn’t compute, at least I could BS my way into a better grade. Who knew that was just the foreshadowing of my fiction-writing career?
In college I wrote and edited for my college newspaper, worked in radio, and was even a TV news reporter (don’t ask, though one of these days I’m going to have to digitize my audition tapes and upload them so everyone can get a good laugh at my expense). I earned a degree in broadcast journalism from Penn State, but quickly abandoned the TV career because what loomed before me were too many late nights covering sewer commission meetings, and sewage bores me too much. Instead I became a publicist for a US Senator, working crazy hours for peanuts but learning more about the “real world” than perhaps I wanted to. It was quite an education, and yet another place I honed my fiction-writing skills… Eventually I became a “glamorous” Washington photographer, shooting an eclectic range of events and people (including Prince Charles!). I knew I had arrived when I shot a World Welter Weight Boxing Championship and got spattered with the fighters’ blood and saliva from my vantage point along the apron.
But marriage and motherhood beckoned, and those professional “glory days” gave way to the raising of three children. The only writing I did for many years were grocery lists and my famously snarky holiday newsletter. I re-launched my writing career with the onset of a terrible drought in my state a few years ago. It dawned on me that with water rationing in place, no one would dare have a holiday party. After all, who could host a hundred houseguests for four hours of festive drinking yet ban them from using the bathroom? All that flushing would alert the water police! And so I wrote about it. Lucky for me, an editor immediately bought the story, which deluded me into believing that publishing was a piece of cake. Well, that piece of cake quickly grew stale, as I tried to sell more witty essays, with mixed success.
I did eventually sell more of my writing, and my generous mother bought me a laptop, which enabled me to write while at soccer practice, which opened up a whole new world of opportunities for a mom on the run. I continued writing, and reading, and as I read other peoples’ books I kept saying to myself, “I can write this well!” And thus began my fiction phase. As a journalist by training, I never dreamed I’d actually make up things for publication. I guess there are those journalists who do that, but they’re not exactly supposed to. But I learned quickly that fabricating information was pretty liberating—not being constrained by such nuisances as facts made it that much easier for me.
Over the years the books I’ve published have run the gamut from women’s fiction to chick lit to romantic comedy to memoir and soon I’ll be throwing some mysteries into the mix. I think you’ll find something for everyone in the pages I’ve written, so please do pull up a chair and make yourself at home!