How it Began

How it Began

My Biography Addendum

In sixth grade, I was given a homework assignment to write a poem based on any subject we’d studied that year. After several drafts, I finalized Mrs. Earth So Pretty. My parents seemed impressed and I pictured my teacher scrawling a large A in red ink at the top of the first page. Instead, she called me to the front of the class, gave me an airy “tsk-tsk,” and returned my assignment in a sealed envelope addressed to my parents. To my dismay and my mom’s, the only thing scribbled over the paper was a message stating I’d obviously copied the poem or had someone else write it. Grade: Incomplete. My mom hauled me back to school, not only into my teacher’s office, but almost in her face. Arms out, palms up, I pleaded my case, my mom backing up my every word. I got the A, but more importantly I felt the first rush of success and brandished a grin for creating a poem that someone else thought was too good to have been written by an eleven year old.

Throughout high school, my dream was to become a news reporter. For years I’d watched reruns of a very old movie, Meet John Doe, Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck, with Stanwyck playing a sassy news reporter named Ann Mitchell. I joined the journalism staff in high school my senior year and was assigned an Easter feature for the school newspaper. My editor told me to write something about the Easter celebration. I detoured from the religious angle and wrote a story on how the Easter Bunny came into being. It made the front page and I received an award, with the editor telling me this was the best story she’d published in her two-year tenure as high school newspaper editor. “Stick with journalism,” she had said.

So how did I end up in human resources? Simple. Every time I mentioned majoring in journalism, the feedback was always the same, “There’s no money in it.” So, the almighty dollar won over (although I’ve never made what I thought was a great salary in human resources). I graduated from Arizona State University with a BS degree in business administration and somewhere along the way, landed a job as personnel director. Today, we know the title as human resources.

And then came the decision.

In 2005, four books into the Sarah Booth Delaney bone series by Carolyn Haines, I made up my mind to write books. Did this revelation come specifically from something inside Carolyn Haines’ fourth book in the Delaney series? A combination of all of them? Rewind through the past and I’m in high school, leaving my journalism dream behind—Ann Mitchell to the rescue. Go back even further to my brush with success in sixth grade with Mrs. Earth So Pretty. Could the inspiration have come from a combination of all of these along with a lifetime of reading book after book?

I’ll never know for sure, but since that day, most of my spare time has been dedicated to learning to write and writing.

Hope you watch for more to come.