I took this picture in Arches National Park in Utah. Only when I was off the trail and behind the arch, did I see the Okay sign. I have kept this picture above my desk for years to remind me of how blessed I am.
I was a working woman with two children (grown now), and working women work two shifts, our paying job, and our second shift, raising children and creating a home. I got the bug to write while commuting to work in Denver on the light rail. Most women boarded the train and pulled out a book or an e-reader. With the demands of a job and a family pulling at us, the time on the train was the only “me” time for most of us. I write the Claire Callahan series for everyone who has only a scrap of free time a day and likes to read.
People always ask, why did you become a writer? If it weren’t for my mother taking my sister and me to the library every week, I might not be a writer. I cut my teeth on Trixie Belton, Nancy Drew, and Agatha Christie.
Truth is stranger than fiction, and years in the news business provided me with lots of peculiar characters and stories to write about. I worked years honing my craft.
Stringing words together to create meaning and pack an emotional punch comes after writing hundreds of pages that went into the shredder. At the beginning of my career, I wrote for an early morning news show; many of these shows air at 4:00 a.m. and are devoted to agriculture news and lots of local weather
Once I had some news writing experience, I was assigned more important stories, like the brutal murder of a twelve-year-old girl. I interview the man who was convicted. He was smart, attractive, and charming. I was chilled when I realized if I were stranded on a highway with car trouble, and he stopped, I would have trusted him.
I love the news business because each day, something new and interesting happens.
We were producing a live news show and interviewing a woman who was the district’s state representative. We were ready. The interviewer and the talent were on the set. The opening credits rolled. Instead of our regular music playing, ‘Lay, Lady Lay, across my big Brass Bed’, comes pouring out of the sound system. She hears it, jerks off her microphone, and stomps off the set. Luckily, we had an old interview cued, and we played it.
I enjoy writing the Claire Callahan series. Claire is the kind of woman who tries, stumbles, gets up, and forges ahead. She’s had some difficulty being accepted- she’s a stunning red-headed female PI in a man’s world, but she’s sharp and tough. Right now, Claire’s trying to solve the case of who murdered the wealthiest man in Denver.
I’m proud to be a member of Sisters in Crime, an incredibly talented group of women who share their expertise with one another and of Mystery Writers of America.
Raising two children who now have families of their own is my greatest joy. Our lives aren’t perfect and certainly aren’t without their challenges, but we are family.
Wishing you many happy hours of reading,
“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” – Lemony Snicket