I've always been a storyteller. Not that that's always served me well...just ask my parents. Ironically I suck at out-and-out lying. I have no poker face at all, which explains why I don't play. But embellishing facts for the sake of a good tale, I can do that.
I learned storytelling, or maybe inherited my ability for it, from my Italian Grandma Jennie, who was generally acknowledged by friends and family to be the best oral storyteller around. She mainly told old Italian fairy tales with moral endings, and family history, particularly about my great grandparents immigrating to the United States and the wild Pacific Northwest.
I always thought my family had a wonderful, colorful past full of villians and gunfights, evil revenuers, mining explosions, handsome strangers, mail-order brides, romance and passion, and little Italian gremlins that caused no end of trouble for everyone. But now I wonder...
I was born in Baltimore, Maryland to two kids from Idaho. They eventually moved back home and I grew up in Washington and Idaho where I became an avid reader and booklover.
As a kid I told stories to myself, which worried my parents some. It never occurred to me to write my stories down. In school I excelled in reading and English. So what major did I pursue in college? Electrical Engineering, of course.
I married my college sweetheart and went to work for several large defense contractors where I wrote...software. And read books during my lunch hour. I gave up the glamorous engineering life when I had kids for the equally glamorous life of a stay-at-home mom. At least then I got to tell stories on the job!
One day I took the kids to story time at the library and happened upon a brochure for an extension course in creative writing. I was so excited by the idea that I just knew I had to be a novelist. I never took the class but I did spend the next several years reading and researching.
Then, finally, I put fingers to keyboard and wrote a novel about villains and gunfights, mining explosions, handsome strangers and mail-order brides, romance and passion...
The book won several awards for unpublished manuscripts but, so far, remains unpublished.
Eventually I found my voice writing humorous contemporary stories. But I could never get the gunfights and explosions and romance and passion out of my system.
You'll find all of that in my debut novel, Spy Candy.