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My storytelling career began in a two-room schoolhouse when I was supposed to be studying spelling. Instead of memorizing whether i came before e, I wove our ten words into an imaginative story, which I shared with my classmates. Since we had ten new word every day, I got lots of practice. Though my spelling skills undoubtedly suffered, the rest of my class were highly entertained and remain two of my most faithful fans to this day.
Officially my writing career didn’t start until 1992 when I sold my first book to Harper Collins. MURPHY'S RAINBOW, book one of the Cheyenne Trilogy went on to win the National Reader’s Choice award for the best historical romance of 1993. Since then six more of my historical romances, including SHADOWS IN THE WIND, WILLOW CREEK, MEADOWLARK, A WINDOW IN TIME, SILVER SPRINGS, and WILD HONEY have hit the shelves. A WINDOW IN TIME received the 1995 Heart of Romance award. It was also a finalist for romance’s highest honor, the RITA and for the National Reader’s Choice Award.WILD HONEY and A WINDOW IN TIME were both finalists for the EPPIE- the Oscar of the e-book world.
My novels pull from Wyoming’s rich historical past. Much of my inspiration comes from true accounts of the Old West, including journals and stories from actual pioneers. Women’s suffrage, the territorial legislature, the South Pass City gold rush, the Cheyenne Deadwood stage route and the Pony Express have all figured prominently in the lives of my characters.
When I’m not actively writing myself, I pass my skills on to others. Though I have taught writing from first grade through adult, my specialty is working with students with learning disabilities. . Every year my students participate in the Young Author’s program. The books they write aren’t all prize-winners, but they are much loved accomplishments and a great source of pride for my students.
In the fall of 2000, Julie Yager and I founded Kick Starts for Kids, an organization which specializes presenting writing-related teacher workshops. We co-produced the educational video Literacy: Building Blocks of a Bright Future, for which I wrote the screenplay.
Several years ago my muse turned to nonfiction with L. D. FROM THE INSIDE OUT: A Survival Guide for Parents. It is a parent-friendly guide to Beating the L.D. Monster, and a valuable resource for any parent or teacher who has a child with learning disabilities.
I belong to several writing groups including Novelists Inc., Romance Writers of America and EPIC as well a being a member of the faculty at the prestigious Jackson Hole Writer’s conference which takes place every other year in June.
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