Books have always been a lifeline for me; a place I went to escape, to learn, and to belong. My childhood was filled with glorious books, Little Women, Lad A Dog, Black Beauty, Little House on the Prairie, Caddie Woodlawn. They were as real to me as the life around me, a lower middle class one in a small oil refinery town in Texas.
My grandfather, an invalid, was a huge fan of the writers Frank Slaughter, Frank Yerby, and Zane Grey. By the time I learned to read, I was sneaking his square, cheap (a dime, I think) paperbacks off and reading them. Pirates. Passion. History.
I never imagined I’d be a novelist, but all my life I've made my living writing, working for local magazines and university publications departments. I’ve written brochures, poster copy, web zine copy, annual reports, press releases, you name it. And, of course, historical novels.
It has never occurred to me to write anything but historicals, though those who live with me through the process have suggested for their own sanity that I write something easier and shorter, yet I can see Granddad now in the dog-run open breezeway of the old house he lived in, cheap paperbook in hand, whiling away the hours an invalid must fill.
I bless his memory and the gift he gave me, the discovery of time travel into other minds, other lands, other eras, other cultures, other worlds, by the magic of reading. That's what I wish for my readers, that my books take them far away into another place and time and that they enjoy themselves there and maybe even learn an interesting fact or two...
"Even the greatest love will fly out the window without truth, honor, and duty to anchor it down," says one of my favorite characters. Truth, honor, and duty don't always stand up to temptation. What then? I find myself continually exploring the boundaries of love, of forgiveness, of redemption.