I was born and raised in eastern Mass (go, Sox!), and have lived my whole life in New England. I did the public school thing, surviving the 80s with no lasting scars aside from a few photos of me with spiked hair and a rat tail. During the 90s, I did a double stint at Tufts University for an undergraduate biology degree and a PhD in genetics, with a year-long break in between that can best be described as: ‘I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up; I think I’ll do some landscaping’… followed by ‘um, okay; I think I’ll go back to school now.’
During grad school and for a year after, I worked at the New England Eye Center, helping search for the genes responsible for certain types of glaucoma. It was very cool work, but the writing aspect of science suited me far better than the labwork. It wasn’t until the head of my thesis committee complimented my thesis by saying it “read like a mystery novel” that I admitted I was… um… writing a romantic suspense novel in my free time. Soon after, I left the lab and spent the next couple of years freelancing as a scientific editor and riding instructor while I worked on getting my writing career off the ground.
Released in October of ’03, my first Harlequin Intrigue was an RT Top Pick and kicked off a long string of largely science-themed romantic intrigues that have hit the bestseller lists and been nominated for various Reviewers’ Choice and RITA awards. While writing the Intrigues, I kept honing my craft and submitting new ideas, hoping to make the jump from category to single title success.
I love learning about new things and rediscovering old interests- that’s the researcher in me, I suppose. So one day while I was researching a story idea, I came across a reference to pre-Columbian serpent worship, had an ‘ooh, shiny!’ moment, and followed where the information flow led me… straight to a mention of the Mayan Long Count calendar, and how it’s slated to end on December 21, 2012… close to a thousand years after the fall of the Mayan Empire.
The Maya have always been a particular interest of mine, and I’d been to most of the major Yucatan sites as a kid… let’s just say the pyramid at Chichen Itza made a huge impression. How could it not? And the more I looked into the 2012 doomsday prophecy, the more the Nightkeepers’ story started clicking in my brain- less like I was crafting it, and more like it had been there all along, waiting for me to see the Nightkeepers and how important they’re going to become over the next few years as the Long Count draws to a close and the Mayan calendar reaches the zero date… at which point there will be no more time to count. Game Over. Or is it??
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