I’m a Kentuckian born & bred — our family has been in Kentucky since . . . well, since Kentucky was Virginia. Before that, they were rattling around Ireland & England mostly, with the odd Viking & Israelite thrown into the mix, apparently. (Genealogical genetic testing is an amazing thing.) We aren’t horse farmer Kentuckians, though, more like moonshiner Kentuckians. Okay, exactly like moonshiners.
To my everlasting shame, I do not follow Kentucky basketball. It’s a character flaw I have to live with. My husband and his family make up for my lack of enthusiasm while I sit in the corner & read. While I’ve never actually lived anywhere but Kentucky, I did make a pilgrimage to the motherland for my brother’s wedding in County Kerry, & if I ever leave the Bluegrass State, it will be for the Emerald Isle.
That’s me right over there! –>
Scooby & Trixie & Agatha
My love of mysteries — and ghost stories — started early with Scooby Doo and continued when I discovered Trixie Belden. Sometimes it seems I’m the only mystery writer out there who never liked the Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew. After I’d
plowed through my library’s stock of Trixie books, along with the ones I saved my allowance for, I dove right into Agatha Christie. I blame her entirely for my lifelong ambition to be a mystery writer & live in an English country house. I was the kid who always had her nose buried in a book. In fact, I once got in trouble for reading at school. True story.
I also spent a lot of time watching detectives on 80s television. I vividly recall sitting next to my grandmother, eating chocolate ice cream and watching Murder She Wrote & Matlock while listening to my grandfather snore in his recliner as thunder rumbled & rain pattered outside the screen door. With my dad, I watched Magnum PI, Remington Steele, & In The Heat of the Night. It’s no wonder that my favorite stories are mysteries.
So, What’s Your Major?
When it was time to go to college, I considered lots of majors — psychology, history, environmental engineering (I have no idea what I was thinking since I hate math and don’t love science much, either) — before I finally gave in and accepted what I had known all along . . . I was an English major through and through. I graduated from Western Kentucky University with a degree in creative writing.
A word of warning — if you get a degree in English, everyone you meet will ask you the same thing, “Oh, so you’re going to teach?” I’m painfully shy & hate speaking in front of groups. Throw in the fact that I wasn’t comfortable around large groups of kids even when I was one, and you’ll understand why teaching was the last thing I had in mind. What I wanted to do, but didn’t really want to admit, was write novels. Instead, I tried a few different jobs, from data entry operator to photographer, before I became a full-time homeschooling mom. The irony is not lost on me.
My photography hobby started in college when I bought my first SLR with the insurance money I got after my car was destroyed by softball-size hail. Priorities, people. I was hooked & spent years studying the craft, even developing and printing in my own darkroom until I became a mom and went digital. If I could choose any other career, I think it would have to be travel photographer. If you poke around a little, you’ll find some old posts from when I used this blog as a place to share my photography.
The Next Chapter
When I turned 40, I decided that if I was ever going to write that mystery novel I’d better get started. So now, I spend my downtime plotting murder. My kids, the hacker & the ballerina, are very excited that mom is writing a book and frequently ask why I’m not writing right now, but at the same time they’ve sworn they will never again drink from a pot of tea that I’ve brewed. That’s what happens when you start thinking out loud about the idea you just had for poisoning someone without getting caught.
A Few of My Favorite Things:
• Rain & thunder
• Starbucks (a tall latte with an extra shot, please)
• Twinkle Lights (they aren’t just for Christmas, y’all)
• Notebooks & pencils (I hoard them. It’s a sickness.)
• Bandit the cat
• Loki the dog of mischief
• U2 & Dwight Yoakam
• Barry’s Tea
• The beach – specifically, Captiva Island, Florida. It’s my happy place.