If you’re looking for my OFFICIAL BIO (in all its officialness), check out the Media Page. If you want the fun stuff and juicy details, keep reading…
Night Owl: WHOOOOO Me???
I started reading when I was four. My mom didn’t realize I knew how until I asked her to read something to me, and she teased me by saying “read it yourself”–and I did!
My first favorite book was Green Eggs and Ham.
In second grade, I got in trouble with the cranky, elderly school librarian for reading books off the sixth grade shelf instead of picture books from the second grade shelf. (Oh the horror!) She mocked me in front of the whole class for not knowing who Babar was. *sob*
I was thinking, “Why in the world should I care who Babar is when I know Anne Shirley, Aslan, Meg-Jo-Beth-Amy, Bambi, Black Beauty, and Sarah Crew?” (Bonus points if you can name the books they are all from.)
My mother called the school immediately and hauled Cranky Librarian off my back. I think we had a new librarian the next year.
Sorry, Babar, but I’ve never really liked you since.
What’s In A Name?
Welsh Story Magic
In Wales, Storytellers RULE! (Literally)
A Town of Bookshops
Hiraeth is a Welsh word that has no English equivalent. You can think of it as a spiritual longing for home, the home of your heart. Many people feel hiraeth for Wales, even if they’ve never been there. It’s a mystic kind of bond that transcends geography and time.
When I first heard of this word, I thought “Yes! That is exactly how I have always felt about Wales.” I didn’t know that there was a word for it, or that other people felt the same way.
I have never visited Wales, but I have always loved it. Hiraeth is in my soul, and someday, I’m going to get there. I’m going to visit the home of my heart.
Cymru Am Byth Wales Forever
- Favorite birthday gift as a kid: a big box of books my mom collected from garage sales and thrift store. At first, I thought they’d last me forever. I read them all in three weeks.
- First Crush: My first crush was not on a movie star. It was on a book character–Gilbert Blythe, from Anne of Green Gables. Swoon! It didn’t hurt that later, when the TV movies came out, the guy playing Gilbert was pretty cute, too.
- My husband’s and my idea of a great date is an evening spent in Barnes and Noble, eating at the cafe and browsing books and magazines.
- When I was seven and we moved to a new house, I got a bedroom with a walk-in closet. I was so excited because it was big enough I could pretend it was a wardrobe and my gateway to Narnia.
- If I didn’t like how a book ended, I simply rewrote the ending the way I wanted it.
- Participating in the library’s summer reading club was the highlight of my summers as a kid.
- I followed book series the way most kids follow TV shows or movies.
- My first attempt to write a book was in second grade. The would-be masterpiece was titled “A Flower and a Bee.” It was about two small memo pages long, and explored the pathos and triumph of the unlikely friendship between…wait for it…a flower and a bee.
- I was the poet laureate (official poet) of my elementary school in 3rd and 4th grade.
- I finished my first novel in 8th grade. It was handwritten, 2 spiral notebooks of middle school drama and angst. I thought all I had to do was copy it into my best handwriting in a journal and send it off to a publisher, and I’d be a published author. (I was adorably innocent and naive.)
- My first published work was an article I wrote about having special needs siblings for a teen magazine when I was 14. I was paid $25 for it, and they included my photo as well as a byline.
- My next paid published work wasn’t until I was in my 20’s. It was a short story submitted to Cats magazine, for which I also got paid $25 and a byline. I got my first stalker fan out of the deal too. She loved the story so much, she tracked down my phone number and called me to gush about–thinking it was a true story when it was actually fiction. I quickly unlisted my number. (Hint to readers everywhere: Don’t be that fan. Just. Don’t.)
- First book deal: For years, all I wanted was to get one book published. Just one. And then, I decided I wanted a real career out of it–with lots of books. And I wanted my first contract before I was 30. I got it when I was 29, and so far I’m on track for the real career with lots of books. And I LOVE it. I’d never want to do anything else.
First Date: Almost 16, and we went to a local production of the musical Carousel and to a really fun restaurant called The Garden Cafe. I was ecstatic–alone on a date with a boy! No, he didn’t kiss me! EVER! (Well, okay, much later–in college–he did…long, pathetic story. Maybe I’ll dish on it sometime, if you’re interested!)
First Kiss: Different guy (after First Date guy insisted we date other people and then was upset when I took him seriously). I was 17. He was 22. (22!!! *squee*) I thought it was the most magical moment of my life to date. When he found out it was my first kiss, he felt so guilty (because of the age difference) that he confessed to my parents and wouldn’t talk to me for 2 days. Humiliating much? We worked it out, eventually, and ended up dating for over 3 years.
Third Time’s the Charm: I caught the bouquet at my best friend’s wedding, and I met my future husband two days later. TRUE STORY! See–sometimes superstitions DO work. (Or it could have been a freaky coincidence…but I’ll pick the magic every time.)
After my college roommate’s wedding, I went to Branson, MO for a summer college work program at Silver Dollar City. The first few days I met so many people, it took a couple weeks to get them sorted out in my mind. So I don’t actually recall meeting him, exactly, but it was likely that first day when he was helping everyone move in their stuff. His job at Silver Dollar City was at a cookie booth. He was allowed to give away broken cookies. He was a resourceful schemer at love…
Our first kiss was in the woods at night, in the cab of a friend’s pick-up truck, and there was starlight and moonlight and fireflies. (And he felt neither embarrassed or the least bit guilty! Score at last!)
A year and a half later, we had a Christmas wedding.
- Romantic movies with happy endings
- Wales/Welsh language
- Jane Austen
- Art and home decorating
- Saying goodbye
- Cold weather
- Sad endings (books or movies)
- Reality TV
- War and violence
- Getting up early
Another thing I really like: hearing from my readers! Contact me here or get in touch through my Facebook page, Twitter, or any of the other social media sites listed in the upper right corner of this page.