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My Tale

I told my first story when I was nine years old. I don’t remember the story—except that it was about a giant lightning bug. I do remember clearly that the seven- and eight-year-olds in the backyard tent were completely enthralled. And it felt really, really good telling that story.

I grew up in Struthers, Ohio, in the steel belt between Pittsburgh and Cleveland. My family was divided—half Browns fans and half Steelers fans. This made Sunday afternoons quite interesting. And quite loud. (For the record, I landed on the Browns side.) I was the only girl amongst four brothers, the archetypal dreamer, spending many, many hours in a creative, imaginative space. When I was a senior in high school—at a time when unemployment in my hometown was at fourteen percent—my only dream was to leave Struthers, Ohio.

So out of town I eagerly went, to college in Pittsburgh, then to Maryland where I worked for fourteen years, tooling around the Washington, D.C. beltway as an interior designer, project manager, and finally, director of operations in the office furniture industry. In that time I was always writing, writing, writing—sometimes for work, but mostly because it felt really, really good. 

The first time I went to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, was on a date. I stood at the rail in front of St. Peter’s Church and looked out over the town, at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, and said to my date, “Wouldn’t this be a great place to live?” It felt right just to be there. Wouldn’t you know, eight years later I married that guy, and three years after that we moved to Harpers Ferry.

My husband is a die-hard Cleveland Browns fan, which in psychiatric terms means “unstable.” He supports my writing 110 percent and for that I am blessed. Although, for some reason he thinks all of my female protagonists should be strippers.

We have two daughters, ten and twelve, blonde and brunette, ballerina and basketball player. I shouldn’t be surprised they are so different. I’m a Gemini. Last year my two favorite shows were Downton Abbey and The Walking Dead.

Some final tidbits about me:

I am the publications and membership specialist for the Harpers Ferry Historical Association, a non-profit organization that supports the educational and interpretive programs of the National Park Service. My job combines two of my great loves: history and writing.

I spend half of my “free” time writing fiction; the other half is spent on television, movies, and books. I like zombies, Don Draper, Ignatius J. Reilly, and Ukrainian dancers named Maks. Those Folgers Christmas commercials make me cry and I yearn to have a real ghost encounter.