Since I learned how to write I enjoyed creating stories. My first endeavor was my version of a picture book: I drew pictures of characters on paper then beneath the illustrations I wrote about their lives. They always lived ever-happily-after. When I was eight, while attending day camp, I told my counselor I didn’t want to play Newcomb Ball because I rather write a story. She didn’t argue with me but sat me at a table with a paper and pencil. On my street at home in Livingston, New Jersey, I created plays for the neighborhood kids to perform. None of these went on to Broadway.
I also had an early interest in history. My father was my influence. On weekends he’d sit by the television watching documentaries. Most of these related to World War II. Many of the scenes were painful to watch and perhaps I was too young and impressionable to view them: men dying in battle and the horrors of the concentration camps. Nevertheless, I retained an interest in this terrible time in history.
When I arrived to adulthood, I became interested in the Victorian period in England. I loved the novels of that era. I especially enjoyed the beautiful and touching works of the author Thomas Hardy. I pursued a career in literature and specialized in Hardy’snovels, short stories, and poems. I presented various papers over a number of years at the bi-annual Thomas Hardy Conference and Festival, held in Dorchester, England. These papers have been published in scholarly journals. I also taught literature and writing in college.
I didn’t give up my desire to write my own fiction. I wrote short stories and a number of these have been published in journals. I also kept an abiding interest in World War II and wanted to write about this period. Not only were there horrific villains who brought about havoc across the world but also amazing heroes who combated that evil. Women did their part. My first novel, Lily’s Home Front, is about a woman welder on Liberty Ships. My latest novel, The Secret Ranch, is about a woman in the Women’s Army Corps who intercepts enemy code.
I have been busy but also have found time to enjoy being with my husband, Jeff, and raising three sons, now grown. My husband and I live in Portland, Oregon. I also have volunteered at various animal shelters and the Oregon Humane Society. I care very much about animal welfare and the environment.
Receiving writing advice from my friend Maria