Books have always been my friends--sometimes my best friends. My father was in the Air Force and by the time we finally settled in California my freshman year in high school, I had attended seventeen different schools. I hadn't just read about alligators or the Black Hills or West Point or the Pacific or Atlantic oceans, I'd seen them. Trust me, this kind of thing can set a kid apart.
With books such a special part of my life, you can imagine how I felt about the men and women who wrote them. They had to be anointed beings, far too special for anyone like me to even consider becoming one of them. Still, I wrote, almost as a compulsion. If a teacher assigned a three-page essay, I wrote ten. A ten-page assignment once encouraged me to turn in ninety. You can imagine how popular this made me with the rest of the class. One summer while everyone else was outside doing the things kids do in summer, I stayed inside and wrote a play. I found it the other day when I was cleaning out a closet. It went right back in when I was finished.
The way I finally started writing seriously is almost a cliché among writers. I read a book that frustrated me so badly I tossed it aside and announced, "I can do better than this." With those words I started down a road that wasn't nearly as easy as I'd believed, especially with the detour I stumbled onto when I signed up for a writing class that led to eight-years as a freelance non-fiction writer and photographer. But with fiction my first love it was a given I'd return someday.
Now with twenty books behind me, I've begun to think of myself as a genuine storyteller. I like believing I'm part of a long and honorable tradition. Somehow it sounds better than telling people I sit in a room by myself all day and talk to imaginary friends.
I've been married to the same incredible man for over thirty years. He's my personal hero as well as a hero to a lot of other people who he's helped in his career as a firefighter. We have two sons who have added immeasurably to our lives by marrying amazing women and producing four of the world's smartest, best behaved, most talented, and kind grandchildren.
When I'm not writing I like to garden and travel and wander around one-of-a-kind shops looking for Christmas ornaments to add to the collection I started thirty years ago. Christmas is a big deal at our house, lots of fun and family and tradition. It's going to be even busier this year with the publication of Another Summer, which comes out in December. I love this book and loved returning to The Beach House to visit old friends and make some really special new ones. I hope you enjoy the journey, too. Let me know. I'd love to hear from you.
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