My first brush with fame came the day I was born in Hollywood, California, and my basinet neighbor in the hospital nursery happened to be Michael Landon, Jr. When she should have been looking at me, my Aunt Karen instead gaped at the man beside her and nearly passed out when she found she was standing next to Michael Landon, Sr. at the nursery window. And so, my connection with the entertainment industry had begun.
Actually, I think it's encoded in my DNA. My grandmother was a ballet dancer (from Wisconsin), my grandfather was a concert violinist (from Hungary), and they both were very close friends of Bela Lugosi (the man famous for playing Dracula). For the first 10 years of my life, my family lived above the Utter McKinley Mortuary on the corner of Hollywood and Argyle, kitty-corner from the Pantages Theatre, and one block away from famous Hollywood and Vine (sadly, the location is now a parking lot). Is it any wonder I'm fascinated with the arts?
I've always loved books and writing came as a natural extension of that. In school, whenever there was a writing assignment, I was the kid who wrote way more than necessary. In high school, my best friend and I would write short stories for fun and trade them with each other. In fact, I wrote my first complete book in high school. Titled “Like Roses” it was a story about an overweight girl who lost a ton during the summer and came back to her senior year to find that her new figure brought her love, happiness… and a little danger. It was exactly how I wished my life could be (minus the danger) but it was also quite melodramatic. Now, it’s buried at the bottom of a desk drawer, a testament to the optimism of youth, and the fact that you've got to write a lot of lousy stuff as part of the learning process.
I wrote my second novel, a circus romance, in college. This one was good enough, I thought, to publish. I sent it to Harlequin, where it was rejected, but I did get a full-page, personal rejection letter (which I still have) telling me what the editor liked and where I needed work. Rather than be encouraged by the personal attention, I stopped writing books for a while, and followed life down a few unexpected paths.
It took some time, but I finally got back to writing, the dream of my heart. Since 1996, I've published numerous short stories, devotions and plays. My first novel, The Love of His Brother, came out November 2007 (Five Star Publishers). After that, I’ve had a dozen books published by four different publishing houses. And I’m still going!
Besides being a writer, I'm a mom who lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, where I enjoy playing table top games, singing along with the radio, having adventures with my awesome fiancé, and hanging with friends and family.