Bio and a bit of my thoughts…
This time of year, April, always brings back memories of growing up on the farm. The air had that special quality to it that a sunny spring day provides—soft breezes carrying the scent of budding trees and damp earth. Everywhere around me was beige…beige grass, beige, bare tree limbs—but when I looked up, there was that big blue bowl of Alberta sky. With no one to play with, I had to entertain myself. So, in the shade behind the house, I made mud pies and held tea parties for my dolls and our black and white dog.
My two dolls were propped up (somehow) and we sipped tea with my prized tiny china tea service. I missed out on the experience of a one-room school house because the year I started grade one, a big yellow bus came out to the One Tree District and took all the kids to town. I wasn’t the first to be picked up, but for some reason my stop was the last at night, making for a very long day. Mondays were special—I’d run into the house and breathe in the scent of fresh-baked buns cooling on the stove while in the oven baked the week’s supply of bread. I couldn’t wait until supper (which on bake/wash days, was tasty potato soup with dumplings) and I’d rip into a crusty bun. Warm bread, to this day, remains one of my most beloved fragrances!
When I learned to read, an entire new world opened for me, and that’s when I really began living in my imagination. Saturdays was cleaning day. I couldn’t pass a mirror without seeing myself as poor Cinderella. Saturday night trips into town included a visit with the librarian, sharing my popcorn with her and her orange tabby, and going home with an armload of books. Gradually the books progressed from juvenile to teenage detectives and Perry Mason. Then in my late teens I discovered the wonderful novels of Frank Yerby and Jean Plaidy, and a life-long love of historical romance books began.
I was the editor of my high school newspaper and wanted to become a reporter. There were no openings at the weekly newspaper and because I was lousy in math and sciences, I couldn’t go to university to study journalism. Instead, I moved to Calgary and attended secretarial college, a profession that has benefited me all my life. At twenty I married Doug, the love of my life, and the next year we moved to Germany. We stayed for five years and visited some beautiful countries. I’d always loved castles and at last was able to explore quaint ones or huge, elegant palaces.
Although many of my poems and short stories are published in several anthologies, my first novel plot came to me in the middle of cooking breakfast for our four young sons. That book came so close to being published, but I was so green back then (no internet or computers) so I simply put my manuscript away and started another. And then another. You see, if I didn’t edit the books, then I couldn’t submit and therefore I wouldn’t get rejected. Ah, the delusions of self-preservation. Then several books later, I fell in love with Garth Brooks’ song, That Summer, and the current Prairie Moon Trilogy was born.
At a romance writers conference in Calgary, Beneath A Horse-Thief Moon won the Reader’s Choice Award. An editor asked for the finished two books and wanted to buy them, but the publisher was following the trend of steamy romances with thin plots. I prefer plots with some steam!!
Although there were gaps in my writing years when life intervened, I never lost sight of my dream of publishing books set in all ten Canadian provinces and the Yukon. I’ve written twelve books and now I just have to find some of them, blow off the dust, pull up my sleeves and edit them.
I’m eternally grateful to romance author, Judith Duncan, who saw promise in my writing and urged me to write historicals. Years later, I met my on-line writer friend, Jacquie Rogers. We critiqued each other’s work and empathized over our disappointments. Thank you, JJ, for getting out your “cattle prod” last summer and urging me to submit Beneath A Horse-Thief Moon to Prairie Rose Publications. Cheryl Pierson loved it and gave me a contract. Her partner, Livia Washburn, listened to what I envisioned for the cover and blew me away with her creation. I feel I’ve joined a wonderful publishing family and feel so blessed to be a part of it.
Dreams do come true, so one must never, ever, stop dreaming.