My Life as a Writer

The Short Version

I'm an author of paranormal and historical romance. Before the supernatural took possession of my pen I worked as an Assistant Manager and bookseller for Waldenbooks. After the store closed, I turned to writing as my next career choice. Now I write romance novels while caring for my 4 young children. I live with my musician husband and 3 crazy cats in the coal region of Pennsylvania.

 

The Long Version

I've always been a dreamer. When I was young, I would tell my mom about the vivid movie-like dreams I'd experience at night while I slept. One day, she suggested that I record my dreams into a notebook and maybe I could make them into stories some day. At that point in my life (I must have been at least 6 or 7), I had already become an avid reader.

 

And so begins my life as a storyteller.

 

I grew up in a small town with my younger brother. Together we played many creative, made-up games to keep each other entertained. We recorded radio shows, scripted plays (which we subjected our families to attending), and published our own newspaper (again forcing family members to become subscribers). Playing hide-and-seek with our dog, Reva, kept us occupied for hours. I had a fun, happy childhood.

 

Shortly after I turned 11, my mother was diagnosed with leukemia. After a 4-month battle, she passed away on August 23, 1989. 

 

Life changed forever.

 

My writing became therapy. As my father quickly withdrew into his own grief-filled existence, abandoning my brother and I, the only way I managed to cope with life was to write about my pain, my grief, my hope for a better future.

 

I was a shy child. And I grew into a shy teenager. I felt lost without my mother. So I threw myself into my reading, writing and studying for school. I enjoyed the education part of school, not so much the social part of it. I felt much like an outcast. After all, I was the kid with no mom.

 

During my high school years, I took a creative writing class. This also changed my life. Up until then, I'd never thought of writing as a career choice. My direction in life was a blurry fog. I wanted to be a veterinarian, an archaeologist, a travel agent, and an architect. I'd change my mind so often, that I feared what would become of me once my school life had ended. 

 

After my teacher recommended every student in my creative writing class to read my short stories (I turned an incredible shade of red to match my hair that day!), I began to receive requests to read my writing. The comments I received from my teachers and classmates encouraged me to think seriously about the craft of writing. (Thank you to Mr. McCormick, Mr. Palamar and Miss Dries for your wonderful praise. You really made a difference in my life!)

 

Shortly after graduation, I found a job working at Waldenbooks. I started as a seasonal part-time clerk, then part-time bookseller, moving up the ladder to full-time bookseller and Assistant Manager.

 

I loved my job! I was literally surrounded by books everyday! What writer wouldn't love a job like that? And I continued my writing. I'd bring my manuscripts to work and write during my lunch breaks. I met authors during booksignings and the conferences I began attending. I read whenever I wasn't writing (my mother would have loved reading all the books I bought with my employee discount!). And I became great friends with my fellow booksellers and customers (who also helped me escape the shell my shyness had encased around me. After all, I had to talk to people to sell books! I was now getting PAID to talk about books which helped, too!!).

 

I worked for Waldenbooks until January 2010, when they closed our store due to downsizing. As most avid readers remember, Borders (who owned Waldens) went bankrupt and closed all their doors about a year later. A sad time for all booklovers.

 

Facing unemployment and a growing family (I married my high school sweetheart, Marc, and we have four beautiful children!), I decided to make my children proud of their mama. I decided to focus on writing as a career instead of a hobby.

 

On my son's third birthday, I received an email from The Wild Rose Press stating they'd like to contract the short story I'd sent to them! I grabbed my two boys (3 & 1 at the time) and danced around the dining room. They laughed and giggled! 

 

After that, I knew I was meant to be an author. It feels like my whole life I've been training for this as my career. Perhaps I was born to be a writer? Who knows? But I love it and as long as readers keep reading them, I'll keep writing about my dreams.

 

My family

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