The desire to write –
When I was nine-years-old, I read the poem, “I heard a Fly buzz—when I died” by Emily Dickinson. That little poem stirred something in me—a desire to capture on paper compelling moments of life in a simple way. From then on I started writing. I longed to write fiction but non-fiction was a natural place to start my writing career. As a mental health therapist, clinical supervisor and former educator, I’ve specialized in post trauma treatment my entire career.
At age 31, a publisher in New York offered me a contract to write two series of workbooks for children and teens healing from trauma. My nonfiction writing took off from there. I published more than fifteen books to help children, teens and families recover from traumatic life events. I also served as a consultant to the award winning video series: Saving Our Schools from Hate and Violence (HeartLand Media, San Francisco, CA). One of my most meaningful projects, The Emotional Recovery Resource Kit was created at the request of my New York publishers in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Written to help educators and parents assist children, it was a great privilege and honor for me to write.
Over the next few years, my desire to venture into fiction only grew stronger. The story of Zetty began to consume my thoughts, paper tablets, and even the backsides of gas receipts. I became more determined to make the leap into fiction and went to work learning the craft. Written during stolen moments between work and motherhood, I finally gave birth to my award-winning novel, Zetty.
The landscapes of life—
Raised on the warm sandy beaches of San Diego, it was my good fortune to grow up within the safety and support of a loving family—something I never take for granted. When not at the beach, a pool, or on a family road trip, I was likely consuming a steady diet of old westerns and musicals. I still have a weakness for both. My debut novel, Zetty, takes place in Windansea—a small, beautiful beach community not far from where we lived. Like the main character in the story, I grew up with a love for the ocean, cowgirls, neighborhood dance shows, pianos, golden retrievers, and art. Friendship and motherhood have always been central themes in my life and will always be central in my characters’ lives as well.
After graduate school, I moved to upstate New York with my husband, a native New Yorker, and lived there for nearly four years. We returned to San Diego where I completed a Ph.D. in Psychology and became a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Oregon. I miss the San Diego coast, but now our home backs up to lush green fields, horses, stunning sunsets, and hazelnut orchards. Southern California was the inspiration for my first novel, but it’s in the landscapes of the Pacific Northwest that I’ve found my vision for the next one.
I recently semi-retired to allow more time to do what I love: write fiction and care for my granddaughter. Married for 35 years, my husband and I live with our two loveable labs in Oregon.