A mystery writer, I decided, can be better defined as a paid and legal hit man. They drum up a killer, set their prey, and kill off the innocent and (more often than not) the not so innocent. It’s also a very creative and healthy way of “letting off steam.” At least for me it is.
I have been writing ever since I discovered the magic of the pencil and alphabet. I have traveled through every genre before finding my Utopia with romantic suspense and cozy mysteries. My first poem was published when I was twelve-years-old--on the front page of the school newspaper. I can still recall the thrill and feelings of artistic achievement in seeing my name in print. It hooked me.
Since then I have gone on to publish (for money as well as fame) with such magazines as Woman’s Day, Woman’s World, The Writer, St. Anthony Messenger and Our Sunday Visitor. I have also had a number of Op-Ed pieces published in such newspapers as The Hartford Courant, Miami Herald, and Detroit Free Press. Ten years ago I decided the time had come to take the plunge into novel writing.
My first novel was a paranormal romance which still beckons for me to rewrite. I submitted it to so many contests, editors, agents--but apparently no one is very interested in a young woman who dies and comes back to the love of her life in the form of an emerald-eyed seagull. My next four novels were in the mystery genre. I had discovered my niche. The first suspense/thriller I wrote was The Dolphin Triangle. A novel I still believe deserves the status of Number One New York Times bestseller. It placed first a number of times in various writing competitions and received encouraging comments from agents and editors at writing conferences. It’s Check-Out Time was intended to be the first in my wanderlust cozy mystery series. Since it’s creation, in 1999, it has placed in the Kiss of Death Daphne contest for excellence in mystery/suspense writing and it has gone through three complete rewrites (currently on its fourth). I have bumped it to number three in my series. Tropical Warnings is, of course, book one and the second title, to be released in June 2009, is The Last Resort.
My experience in writing a mystery series set in various campgrounds throughout the United States and Canada comes from traveling in an RV for over sixteen years and then working and managing a camping resort in South Florida for over ten years. I have enough character sketches and settings to fill a dozen series, some of which I have outlined, started, or made notes on. I estimate this to take the completion of my writing career somewhere around the year 2075.
I am employed as an office coordinator at a five star RV resort in Sebring, Florida by day and a crazed writer by night.
I am a graduate of The Institute of Children’s Literature and the Writer’s Digest Novel Writing course. Periodically I take advantage of the online classes in synopsis writing, forensics, death investigation, as well as a number of courses on criminal profiling. I’m an active member of The Authors Guild of America, Romance Writer’s of America, Mystery Writer’s of America, The American College of Forensics Examiners International, and Sisters In Crime. I have attended countless writing conferences through the years and have sweated with the best in those nerve-wracking agent/editor appointments. I set aside two days per week for nothing but research. I take out my notebook from my work-in-progress and anything highlighted in pink I know needs researching. I find this fascinating and sometimes get caught up so much in my discoveries on facts that I have to remind myself to move on to the next item. One thing about the Internet and search engines is the true definition of World Wide Web. I can’t help but wonder what painstaking measures the earlier great authors had to go through in digging up their research. In short, I am a passionate, dedicated, devoted and obsessed writer. I write every day--just as I would brush my hair or teeth every day--always the writing first.
My parents influenced and encouraged me to write from early on. Every since discovering what a pencil and paper could create, I was hooked on story writing. Thanks Mom and dad, for being my number one readers and fans!
Murder in Paradise: A Padise by the Sea Mystery
Five Star Gale Cengage
Forensics, criminal profiling, physical and mental exercise.
St. Jude Research Center
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