Believe it or not, my writing journey began at the age of twelve when my parents, sister and I went on vacation to Cape Cod and stayed with friends of my mom’s. This was one of those vacations where Folsom Prison would’ve seemed like paradise. The little ladies we stayed with had a house where, once their cat went “nightsie,” all lights, talking, TV - everything had to stop - so as not to disturb the kitty. These ladies would take us into town (driving three miles an hour the whole way, and blaring their horn at pedestrians in the crosswalk), while my sister and I were locked in the back of the station wagon with faces pressed up against the glass. Drivers going by must’ve thought we were puppies going to get fixed, considering the looks of pure desperation we had on our faces. Because TV was unavailable, I began to write. It was a fairly large book for a kid called, My Life: A Comedy and a Tragedy.
In my freshman year of high school, a writing assignment came along from our history teacher about Nicholas & Alexandra. I was the only one who wrote about Rasputin (who actually appears in one of my Tallent & Lowery adventure novels). The teacher loved it and told me to become a writer. She was so cute. Four-foot-two, hair that hung to the floor and a voice that was louder than Lady Ga Ga stuck in a blender.
I went on to write my first YA novel (Mind Made), after I brought a stunning little girl into the world named Shelby. One day we went to the ‘grand opening’ of an Inn located in my very small hometown. I picked up a coffee table book and pages began to fall out of it. Seeing as how this place looked like it would charge guests a million dollars to stay there, I figured I’d just destroyed some priceless work of art. When I reached down to pick up one of the photographs, it was of a girl standing outside the Inn back in the early 1900’s. The tagline read, The Connecticut Home for Imbeciles, and she was leaning against a road sign that read, ‘Dip.’ That girl looked up at me with eyes that literally said “Run!” and very soon after, my daughter and I fled.
I went back to my historical routes and delved into a subject that hadn’t been touched on before concerning a woman by the name of Paulita Maxwell who was said to have been the mother of Billy the Kid’s son. I moved to New Mexico to research the project and my book, Heart of a Legend, was born.
I love putting puzzles together from history with my Tallent & Lowery series. With the first book, 13, I had to find a way to link the NYPL with Jack the Ripper, Loch Ness, and the King Arthur legend - which was a whole lot of fun.
When my father was taken away from us far too soon I began thinking about angels, and what life was like ‘up there’ versus down here. Would an angel/warrior ‘team’ be able to survive humanity, fight for them, and stay together all at the same time? The Angel Chronicles answers that question.
So, in the end, I guess I owe my writing to a cat who had to go “nightsie.”