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For as far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be Samantha Stevens from the TV sitcom Bewitched. She was beautiful, and she could zap anyone who annoyed her! How cool is that?
But no matter how hard I wished and dreamed, I never turned into a beautiful witch. I did, however, get in trouble a lot for "daydreaming."
Who knew I'd grow up and become a writer whose story ideas depend on my ability to daydream?
Here's a little background: I was born in Orange County, California and lived in Anaheim until I was around 10 years old. Then my parents and I moved to Yuma, Arizona, leaving behind my three grown brothers and sisters. When I was 13, my father suddenly passed away. My mother and I moved back to Orange County, CA to be closer to my sister and brothers. I graduated high school at 16 and started working. Eventually I ended up working at the dog pound...where I met my husband, Dan Apodaca.
It's not what you think! He was an auditor who came in to do an audit, not a canine inmate! We've been married over 20 years now and have three wonderful sons. I can honestly say that I never imagined I'd find my true love at the dog pound. On the other hand, my very young life plan was to be a witch not a writer, so things often work out for the best!
Now as to how I got started writing...
I went back to college after my three sons, Matt, Gary and Paul, were born. Beginning with a vague idea of earning a marketing degree, I soon realized that my real passion was writing.
So I set about writing a book. Since I was happily married and liked history, I thought writing historical romances would be a natural for me.
Judging by my files crammed full of rejections, I would have to conclude that I was the only one who thought that. Looking back, I can see that my tendency to kill off characters wasn't exactly romantic. But hey, I met my husband at the dog pound--what do I know about romance?
Now frustration...that I know about! And in fact, sheer frustration is what drove me to write my first mystery. After listening to some family nagging--Dan nagged me to write something contemporary, funny and sexy. My mother dropped a hint about trying something modern that would showcase my skill of killing off characters. My sister, Carol, mentioned how good I'd be at writing a comedy or mystery, and we talked endlessly about murder plots. My brother, Tom, just said I was twisted--he's a big help.
But in the end, frustration drove me to murder, fictionally speaking, of course. J
So I sat down and wrote a mystery. To my complete shock, Kensington Publishing not only bought that book, but they wanted to make it into a series. And The Samantha Shaw Mystery Series was born!
And so, I have been forced to admit that my husband, mother and sister were right. But I got the last laugh...I can now daydream all I want and claim that I am working!
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