As a kid, I read and read and read. Laura Ingalls, Nancy Drew, and Trixie Belden were my close companions, and I was never without a book in hand. Today mysteries and suspense are my primary reading genres. I enjoy Lee Child, Karen Rose, Robert Crais, Lisa Gardner, Michael Connelly, and Tami Hoag. But I also love to escape with a historical romance or an engrossing fantasy set in another world. Authors are always huge readers.
I never planned to be a writer. I didn’t enjoy my English or writing courses in high school and college. I did the absolute minimum possible when I had to write a paper. Yes, my degree is in Journalism, but I wanted to work in advertising…and I didn’t plan to write in that field either; I had my eye on account management. I never did work in that field.
In 2006 I’d recently finished one of Diana Gabaldon’s novels for the umpteenth time, and I loved how satisfied and content I felt at the end. A true sign of great storytelling. Could I provide that experience for a reader? I sat down and spent six months writing a contemporary romance. Strangely I kept tripping over dead bodies in each chapter. I got the hint and my stories evolved into romantic suspense. I never felt the need to “tell the stories cluttering my head” or “share my work with the world” like some authors. My goal was to see if I could entertain a reader.
To learn about this novel writing world, I joined my local Romance Writers of America chapter and found a fabulous community dedicated to educating its members about improving one’s craft and how to tackle the tricky world of publishing. I also joined International Thriller Writers and the Kiss of Death Chapter of RWA. HIDDEN was the third manuscript I finished, but my first book purchased by a publisher. It came out in the summer of 2012 and since then has sold well over a half-million copies. I won the Daphne du Maurier award for romantic suspense in 2014, 2015, and 2016 and have hit the Wall Street Journal’s best seller list over a dozen times. I’ve been an International Thriller Writers’s finalist and a finalist for Romantic Times Magazine’s best Romantic Suspense. As I write this in 2021, I’ve sold ten million books, and I’m working on my eighteenth novel. I’ve also written ten novellas and sold the TV rights for my Mercy Kilpatrick series.
I write two books a year. My family has dealt with a lot of frozen pizza and a mom who can’t remember anything because her brain is full of book details. I wouldn’t trade this career for anything, and I count my blessings every day, thankful that readers have embraced my books.
I’ve always lived in the Pacific Northwest. It’s stunningly gorgeous, but I could use more sun and warmth. One of these days… (UPDATE) I made the move. Most of the year I now live beachfront in Florida. It’s flip flops 99% of the time.