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Born on the border between Oregon and Washington, I’m proud to be a Northwest writer. The English language has fascinated me since I first deciphered “milk” on a carton. Once I realized that learning to read would allow me ready access to my Red Ryder comic books, I was hooked. Though I had always dreamed of a writing career, I took a safer educational path, graduating from the University of Wyoming with a degree in English and a high school teaching certificate.
After teaching English, speech, and drama, I went to graduate school, married, reared two children, and immersed myself in community life. Only after our kids reached middle school did I return to a rollicking ten years as a substitute teacher. My lifelong interest in reading and writing had never waned, and I loved the students, yet I finally realized–about twenty-five years after college–that teaching English was not quite the right career for me. But what else could I do?
The empty nest loomed, terrifying me. Our kids were almost grown and I needed a new focus, but what could inspire me as I contemplated the rest of my life? Having decided against teaching, I searched my childhood interests for other possibilities. What about writing?
No doubt about it. I had reached a major turning point in my life, “my bend in the river.” Did I dare to write, after all these years? I feared failure as much as ever, but my blood tingled at the very possibility of fulfilling my childhood dream. Even the possibility of failure scared me less than the feeling of emptiness I was experiencing.
I started writing. What a rush! Why had I waited all these years to do something so stimulating? At first I tackled short stories and essays; a respectable number of them were published. I was exhilarated, even as I realized that taking my new passion further would require a major investment of time and energy. But of course now I had more time, and my energy level actually went up as I dived headfirst into my writing. One day, I informed my family that I had something important to say. Fearing the worst, they listened as I revealed my ambition to write a novel. Relieved that I wasn’t planning to run off to Timbuktu, they said, figuratively, “That’s great! What’s for dinner?”
My first published novel was a contemporary romance, Richer by Far; my second, a young adult novel entitled A Star for Courage. My third novel took me into the realm of mystery, my favorite genre. Murder of the Month (A Jane Serrano Mystery) featured a bookstore setting. My fourth novel, No Rest for the Wicked (A Jane Serrano Mystery), continued the exploits of the characters introduced in Murder of the Month.
All my books thus far have Oregon settings because this is the place I know and love best. I live in Bend with my husband. The adventure–and the writing–continue.