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When I was a kid you could find me with my nose in a book or outside exploring the creek behind our house, climbing trees, or if I could talk my parents into it, going to the beach. My dad’s job took us to live in several different countries growing up, including Italy, Germany and Japan, so I had plenty of places to explore. A curious girl, this was perfect for me. I traded peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for rice balls under the table at Santa Maria’s in Yokohama when the nuns weren’t looking, and watched Anna, our Italian nanny, add big, white snails to the spaghetti sauce that she’d collected that morning off the sidewalk. I can also remember her making pasta on the marble counter top. She’d make a hole in the pile of flour, crack in a couple of eggs, then whip them up with her fingers and knead the dough. And she did all this in red lipstick, four-inch black heels, a pencil skirt, and white blouse.
It wasn’t until later that I realized how much those experiences influenced me. I tend to see things from multiple points of view and am continually fascinated by people and culture. And nature is still my go to place.
The Mom Years
I loved being a mother of boys! Camping, swimming, fishing, art projects, aquariums, zoos, riding bikes, and reading bedtime stories—we had so much fun. Born thirteen months apart, my boys were each other’s best friends and still are. One can’t boil water but keeps an immaculate home and clothes, while the other is the messy one, but loves to cook so much he travels with a cast iron skillet in the trunk of his car. They definitely inherited the travel gene. So far, they’ve lived in Taiwan, South Africa, and Colombia and show no signs of stopping. Glad the stork dropped them off at my house.
A Few Bumps In The Road
After experiencing the trifecta of back injuries, a divorce, and the subsequent financial devastation, I found myself at the age of thirty-five raising my two boys alone–no house, no car, no college degree, no money in the bank, and no support system as my family lived many miles away.
I remember calling my Mom for sympathy and getting a swift kick in the butt instead. Her tough love advice was spot on: don’t waste time feeling sorry for yourself. Get up and get moving. So I did. I did my physical therapy, got a job, pulled myself out of debt and went back to school, earning a BA and a Masters degree in Anthropology at UC Irvine.
The Writing Bug
The writing bug was already biting, because during those years I published a poetry book, Tilting Windmills. I was thrilled when people plunked down cold, hard cash to buy it, and even happier that I was able to show my sons that anything was possible, that setbacks don’t define you.
I wrote the first two books in the Logan McKenna series while teaching Cultural Anthropology and then sixth grade in Southern California. Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done. If you’re a writer, write!
Once I had my career going it was time to get a personal life. I met a wonderful man named John Davisson who’d followed the same pattern I had, focusing on raising his children first before looking for a mate. That counted a lot with me. We’ve been happily married almost a dozen years now, and between us enjoy a family of six children, five grandchildren, and four grand dogs. We live happily ensconced in our dream cottage in the middle of an old-growth forest on the Oregon coast, a five-minute walk from the ocean, with our new puppy, Finn. I’m looking out at the forest right now. I know how lucky I am to live my passion and never take it for granted.
What’s Happening Now
Currently, I’m working on Logan’s next adventure and a couple of other writing projects. If you’d like to know more about the Logan McKenna series, click here. I love research and try to offer my readers something new in each new book. I’ve delved into everything from glassblowing to sea otters. I always love to hear from readers, so email me with any questions or comments. If you don’t receive an answer promptly, please understand my writing often prevents me from responding right away, but I promise to answer all emails as soon as I can. Come back often and subscribe to my newsletter to hear of exclusive giveaways, events, character-naming contests, and fun, extra insights into Logan and friends.