I grew-up on a fourth generation family farm in North Dakota, where I was forced to wear a snowsuit underneath my Halloween costume. I know how to drive a tractor and clean sunflower stalks out of a combine, two skills which, like algebra, have not been at all useful later in life.
After graduating from my high school class of ten people, in a town where the streets have no names (just like the U2 song), or stoplights for that matter, I went off to college in the metropolis of Fargo-Moorhead. I attended Moorhead State University, where I graduated with a major in Broadcast Journalism and English and met the women who are still some of my closest friends.
After college I moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where it was slightly warmer, to work as a reporter and weekend anchor at KSFY-TV, the ABC affiliate. I covered corn prices, fires, floods, tornados, politics, and a prison riot. Every day was an adventure, and in the chaos of the newsroom, they taught me how to write.
After five years of being very poor and working nights, weekends, and holidays, I was offered a job in Washington D.C. I became a press secretary on Capitol Hill, where I was still working nights, weekends and holidays. But now I was only poor, as opposed to very poor.
Washington, D.C. was a bit of an adjustment after North and South Dakota. But I eventually came to enjoy the East Coast, even with its’ over abundance of traffic, people, and trees. I spent the next ten years working for two members of the House of Representatives, a senator, and a cabinet secretary. I also worked on political campaigns. I learned a lot. I also learned this was not something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
I got married and decided to stay home with my three children. When the last one started pre-school, I finally sat down and did the thing I’ve wanted to do my whole life, and that’s write fiction.
When I’m not packing lunches or driving people to soccer, I’m writing. It gives me deep joy to “play with words,” as a friend calls it, and to finally get these stories out of my head and onto paper.
I am a member of RWA and my local RWA chapter, the Washington Romance Writers. I had to fight back tears when I attended my first chapter meeting because I knew I had finally found my Tribe. It’s an amazing feeling to be in a room full of people who may not look exactly like you, but are exactly like you. I’d finally found the other ladies with stories inside their heads. And they weren’t crazy. Well, actually, they were crazy, but in the best possible way. The women of RWA have been a source of encouragement and support and I am profoundly grateful for them.
Most of all, I’m grateful that this winding path, full of interesting jobs and places, with fascinating people and experiences, has brought me here, to a chair, in front of a computer, where I’ve become what I’ve always wanted to be: a writer.