I grew up on a farm near Kirksville, Missouri, the fictionalized setting of my first middle grade/young adult novel, The Feedsack Dress. During the summer I worked in the fields and garden, pumped water for the milk cows, and read books that carried me far away.
Soon after I Iearned to read, I wanted to write my own stories. As a teenager, I realized few writers earn a living writing novels. That knowledge and experience on Kirksville Senior High and Truman State newspapers prompted me to earn a Master’s in journalism at the University of Missouri.
Before taking my first writing job as a magazine editor in Washington, D.C., I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia, teaching English and helping build a school for lepers. Coming home, I traveled for six months in the Middle East and Europe.
One intriguing city I visited was Vienna, Austria. I returned there to work for the United Nations. The bureaucratic writing drove me to quit and come back to the States, this time traveling through Asia and Australia. Settling in Washington, D.C., I edited a national magazine on service-learning and then became a freelance writer and editor. I wrote hundreds of articles, four nonfiction books, and a variety of other nonfiction materials. I edited several national newsletters, most notably Writing That Works, a monthly “desktop seminar” for corporate writers and editors.
A few years ago I revived my childhood dreams of writing fiction. I moved back to Columbia, Missouri, to focus on historical novels for tweens and teens and contemporary mysteries for adults. Five Star published my first mystery,
A few years ago I revived my childhood dreams of writing fiction. I moved back to Columbia, Missouri, to focus on historical novels for tweens and teens and contemporary mysteries for adults. Five Star published my first mystery, Show Me the Murder, in February 2013 and my second, Show Me the Deadly Deer, in December 2013. The Missouri Writers’ Guild gave Murder the Walter Williams Major Work Award in 2014 and Show Me the Gold the Best Book Award in April 2015.
The next month I celebrated fifty years as a professional writer by signing a contract with Rocking Horse Publishing for a middle grade/young adult historical novel, Thunder Beneath My Feet. It came out in February 2016, a few weeks before the release of Show Me the Ashes.
What comes next? In June 2016 Harlequin Worldwide Mystery will publish the paperback edition of Show Me the Deadly Deer. The fifth in the series, Show Me the Sinister Snowman, will be the next release.