Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, I endured your average childhood with two brothers to annoy and parents to baffle. I was a bookworm right from the start. I cut my teeth on The Hardy Boys, Trixie Beldon, Judy Blume and Madeline L'Engle books. As I hit my early teens, I discovered the world of romance through the books of Georgette Heyer, Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt, and others. Soon thereafter, I was checking out from the library any and every romance novel I could blushingly (did I mention I was shy?) slide onto the librarian's desk.
Along with the romance novels, I also gained an appreciation for some of the classics. Jane Austen and Shakespeare were my favorites; Austen for her grasp of character and Regency manners, and Shakespeare for his unparalleled mastery of the language. I still go back to them today.
Throughout school, I worked on the newspaper and literary magazines, thereby earning a certain notoriety for funny columns, right along with the geeky brain image I seemed to cultivate with no effort. (Again with the nose in the book; what do you expect?)
Afterward, I attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, where I earned bachelor's degrees in English literature and magazine journalism. I enjoyed college life, made friends, relished the intellectual challenges tossed at me by some excellent teachers. Somewhere along the line, however, I came to the terrifying conclusion that being a reporter or technical writer really was not an attractive prospect, at least not for me. But I tried.
I moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, right after college, did some business and technical-type writing, married my adorable engineering geek, then quit the tech writing job to churn out babies. (They're smart, funny and adorable -- but will remain anonymous to the general public because I love them dearly.) At home full time and uncomfortable in June Cleaver mode, I decided to try my hand at book-length fiction.
And that's when I wrote and sold the Great American Novel, became an overnight bestseller, and went on to make seven-figure advances and field interview requests from all the network morning talk shows.
Of course I made that up. Remember? I write fiction.
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