Hey! This is me and the little blue guy is my grandson, Caleb. Well…what did you expect…it was Halloween! Of course, that was a while ago when I could still pick him up! Caleb is now six years old and still my baby!
Because this is my writing website, I think I’ll talk to you about writing. I’ve always loved to write. Ever since I could pick up a pencil, I wrote stuff. As a kid growing up in Kansas City, I crafted poems and short stories to read to my younger sister…she actually liked them! I remember one story in particular that was all about elves at the North Pole. Hmmm…could that have been an early inspiration for my new fantasy series, Chronicles of Saint Nikolaus?
I didn’t just read to my sister. The adults in my life listened to my stories and gave me tons of encouragement. That kept me writing. The person who influenced me the most and who helped me to realize my dream to become an author was, believe it or not, my grandmother’s best friend. She was a retired high school English teacher and from an early age, she shared her love of books and writing with me. Even as an adult, I would send her manuscripts to critique.
Many of my stories come from my own life. I grew up happily in a suburban neighborhood full of kids. We lived on a corner lot. Our block consisted of six houses on each side of the street. Within those twelve houses, lived thirty kids, all under the age of twelve! Needless to say, we had a wild noisy neighborhood!
Our side yard was the designated neighborhood baseball field. Many of my children’s stories originated in that yard—especially a scene in which Alex hits a home run and breaks a neighbor’s window—yep, that was really me!
My daughter’s adventures also played a big part in my books as did the antics of my family’s cats, dogs, and now birds (a cockatoo and a conure). So, I can truly say that the inspiration for my books comes from real life as it is lived by real children. From one child’s life, a hundred books could be written!
Yeah…well, I haven’t written a hundred books (yet), but I have written over twenty and they’ve all been published.
I became serious about my writing career in the early 1980’s. Even though I was working full-time at a professional job that paid well and should have been fulfilling, something was lacking. I felt I needed to do more with my life. In desperation one night before falling asleep, I whispered into the dark, “What should I be doing with my life?” Immediately, one word entered my mind…“WRITE!”
So…I started writing the very next day. It took two long years and several rewrites before my first manuscript was accepted for publication. And then <surprise!> my publisher asked me to write three more books immediately because they wanted to publish the first four books of the ALEX series simultaneously.
Talk about a total miracle! My very first book contract was for 4 books!
In the late “90’s,” I took a break from writing to enter Truett Seminary at Baylor University and graduated, magna cum laude, with a Masters of Divinity in 2001. I have always incorporated my faith into my writing. The ALEX books contain a light smattering of Christianity. And someday, I’d like to write theology for adults.
But for now I’m hard at work updating and revising the new ALEX ADVENTURES series. The first book for young readers, ages 7-11, was released in 2014 with the title, “Mushi Sushi Soccer Shoes.” The second book should be ready soon with the title, “High Fives and French Fries.”
I’ve just recently written and had published a new epic fantasy series called the “Chronicles of Saint Nikolaus” with Book One titled, “Rowan and the Dreadful Kidnapping.” It targets middle grade children, ages 9-14.
So, you see, that first Christmas story that I wrote long ago for my little sister stayed in my mind long enough to emerge as a full-blown novel.
Please check out the pages on this website where you’ll find more details about my books. And if you so desire, they can be purchased via this website or through Amazon and Kindle. The books can also be found and ordered through Barnes & Noble.
God bless and happy reading!