|View outside my office|
I've always written poetry and short fiction while working -- as an international banker, as a social policy analyst, and finally as an English teacher at Linn-Benton Community College in Oregon.
Once I began teaching, those summer vacations meant Allen (my husband) and I could skip down to Mexico or Guatemala to research indigenous cultures -- to study and to dream. These side trips were rewarded with teaching assignments in Latin American Literature, African literature, and finally, Intro to Humanities, a year-long class which allowed me to dabble into pre-historic cultures, through the Greeks and Romans, the dark and middle ages, Romanticism, the Industrial Revolution, the Scientific Revolution, and modernity with all its rocks, punk and otherwise.
The Humanities class gave us just the right excuse to go on sabbatical, an eight-month study tour of Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, and England, with a month in each country. Unforgettable.
On retiring, I began writing in earnest. My first book, Mother's Don't Die, a thriller about a kidnapping, now sits in a drawer -- for revision maybe someday.
My first historical fiction, Standing Stones, began as a short story about selkies off the coast of Scotland and morphed into Standing Stones. In 1842, a fishing family living in northern Scotland were kicked out of their cottage by a new landowner. Mac, arrested for protesting evictions all over the island, is transported to Van Diemen's Land. And thus began Book 2 in this series, Years of Stone, to tell Mac's story in mid-19th Century Australia.
Standing Stones enabled us to spend two months in Scotland (the Orkney Islands, Inverness, and Edinburgh). Every library we visited gave me a library card; I am forever grateful for Scottish generosity and their commitment to literacy.
Standing Stones (Book 1: The McDonnell Clan) also won second place in historical fiction (2010) at the Pacific Northwest Writers literary contest. Years of Stone (Book 2: The McDonnell Clan) placed in the quarter finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition (2014). Currently, I'm deep into revising Book 3, Rivers of Stone, set in Canada and the Pacific Northwest, with a release date sometime late 2017.
We now live in Spokane, Washington, still ready to travel, yet near family with two granddaughters. Writing and quilting remain my primary interests, and I celebrate Facebook friendships from around the world.