About the Author
I recently moved back to Oregon with my husband of 31 years, where we’ve built a house on 68 acres about 40 miles outside of Portland. After growing up in Oregon, we’ve lived in Utah, Arizona, and Hawaii. We have three children, two girls and a boy, all grown and all writers themselves. We also have a dog (Golden Retriever) and a cat (Black). I love to write inspirational romance and hope my readers will be both entertained and uplifted by my stories. When I’m not writing, I love to paint (watercolors, oils, and acrylics), sew, knit, crochet, and read (of course)! My second novel will be published in 2017.
1. How did you get started as an author? What or whom inspired you?
I started writing in high school and always dreamed of being a freelance writer. After I was married, my writing was limited to yearly Christmas newsletters and business letters. I started writing the stories of our family adventures and vacations which led to writing fiction. I was inspired by authors of clean romance who sometimes added religious undertones to their writing; authors like Staci Stallings, Heather Horrocks, and Jacklyn Hawkes (check spelling on her first name). I wanted to write something that sent a message of spiritual hope, yet left no doubt about it being a romance.
2. What writing projects are you currently working on? What can you tell us about these projects?
In 2015, I wrote during National Novel Writer’s Month (NaNoWriMo) and completed my second novel. I am currently in editing mode for that book and hope to have it published this summer. It’s the story about a young pregnant widow who decides to hire a contractor to finish her late husband’s building project. Sparks fly as she helps on the house, the handsome contractor introduces her to goals beyond survival and she navigates her deceased husband’s hidden past. It’s called Building a Life. I’ve also started three other novels, all in various stages of completion, with a novella thrown in for good measure. The novella, The Spirit of Christmas is an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, twisted into a romance. I’m hoping to have it ready by the holidays this year.
3. When did you write your first novel?
I started writing my first novel about five years ago, in between reading a lot, working full time, painting, and running my household. Pieces and parts; scenes and events would come to my mind and I couldn’t rest until my thoughts were written down. I discovered LDStorymakers writers’ conference in 2014, but couldn’t attend as I was preparing to move from Hawaii back to the mainland at the time. But the classes offered that year introduced me to a wonderful writer’s computer program called Scrivner and with that program, I began to put together the scenes and events I had already started in an order that began looking like a real novel. For the next two years, I pecked away at that story plus two others. When my daughter Amy had the good fortune to meet Joan Sowards in December 2015, she introduced us via email and Joan was kind enough to read my rough draft and offer invaluable help to make it better. I took the first chapter to LDStorymakers in 2016 and received additional wonderful feedback. Finally, after multiple revisions, I self-published on Amazon via their self-publishing arm, Createspace.com. It was a wonderful experience and helped me bring my first story to fruition.
4. What do you want readers to take away from reading your novel?
For the most part, I want readers to have fun with my stories; laugh a little, cry a little. But I also want them to hear the spiritual message designed for that particular novel. I would love it if I can help improve the image of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and what we believe. I want my readers to smile at the end of the story and feel as though they were able to see inside the lives of people they didn’t know in the beginning of the book, but who feel like friends at the end. If my readers walk away from my book glad they took the time to read it and look forward to the next book, I will consider it a success.
5. What hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing?
I am also an artist, painting in oil, water-color, and acrylics. I paint close-focus flowers and children. I read a great deal, enjoying a wide variety of clean romance writers. I also enjoy sewing, knitting, and crocheting at times. I still have a part time ‘day’ job and I’m currently enrolled in college, so I don’t have any problems staying busy. Recently my husband and I purchased a project car: a 1966 Mustang which I will be helping to put back together. I have a feeling there’s a Mustang project in a novel of the future.
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