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About writing . . .

I don't really know where to start with this. Like most writers, I've been a writer my whole life. I was never the little girl whose essay was read by the teacher or whose stories appeared in the school paper. But I had a wonderful grandfather who told me that I had the soul of a writer when he saw me scribbling in the corner. He said that I should make sure my spelling was perfect because when I got older, I might want to try my hand at it.

I faithfully wrote a novel every year from the time I was 14, when I read War and Peace for the first time. I faithfully and lovingly put it under my bed when it was finished and my husband, Jim, kept insisting that I should do something with my work.

It wasn't until 1989 when we lost our power and water to a hurricane that we started working together. We were trying to entertain our three children in a dark house with no television and not much in the way of light. We were plotting stories together and we were taking turns writing paragraphs. Jim had always been an incessant reader but he'd never thought of himself as a writer. Suddenly, everything changed.

In 1996, we had our first book accepted for publication. WHEN MORNING SMILED was accepted as a Silhouette Romance. It became A FAMILY FOR THE SHERIFF when it was finally published three years later. In the meantime, my mother, who the book was dedicated to, had died of breast cancer and my daughter's marriage had ended. Life had become strange but we kept writing and sending out manuscripts. Sometimes, I think it was the only thing that kept us going.

Just before the Silhouette Book was scheduled to debut, all by itself in the cold, cruel world, we heard from an editor at Avalon Books who was interested in publishing another one of our romances. So, instead of FAMILY (we still think of it as WHEN MORNING SMILED) coming out alone, it debuted in February of 1999, followed in April by IF NOT FOR YOU. Avalon picked up A TIME FOR LOVE for June that year and ONLY YOU for October 1999.

About that time, we heard about ebooks. We both love computers and the Internet so we were thrilled! We contacted Kathryn Struck about her new publishing company, Awe-Struck, and in particular, her Ennoble line. We had written a book about a young woman with polio that we hadn't been able to find a publisher for. Kathryn wrote us back while she was stripping wallpaper from a room in her house. She loved the book and wanted to publish it. FLOWERS IN THE NIGHT was published in November that year followed by our new venture, the first book in a mystery series, LAST DANCE, from Avalon Mystery.

Our second ebook came out that same month. Petals of Life had picked up the non-fiction book we'd written about Jim's struggle with diabetes, ALTERNATIVE DIABETIC. It's a very personal book that we wanted to write for other diabetics who weren't happy with what the 'approved' answers were for treatment. I've been an herbalist for the past twenty years and had advised many people on less destructive ways of staying healthy.

Since the end of 1999, our first year of being published, we've had many other books published and accepted by publishers. At the end of 2000, we signed out twentieth book contract on a novel and had five anthologies scheduled for the next two years. We're working on book six in our mystery series and have had the good fortune to find another epublisher, Wordbeams, to publish some of our work. We have seven books in print and electronic format and three anthologies scheduled for release this year.

I'm home, working full time on the writing, while Jim still works as a computer analyst. We are members of RWA and Mystery Writers of America. Jim is the newsletter person this year at our local RWA group and I'm the program director. I've been writing book reviews for a year and I'm about to start my own book review page. We've given workshops and continue to try to help people begin to understand ebook technology.

I heard Janet Dailey say once that most writers would be more successful if they were just willing to commit enough time and energy to it. It takes one more page, one more rejection, one more new idea. People ask me for advice a lot and this is what I tell them. As for the all-time favorite question, what's it like to work with your husband? It's long hours, weekends, arguments over names and places and lying in the dark looking at the stars with your best friend, daring to dream.