About Me

Tale-spinner. Revealer of secrets. A dog’s best friend. Cornbread and fried okra country girl.

Women lighting fires of self-discovery.

A prevailing theme in my stories can be summed up by this quote from Rumi:

“Step into the fire of self-discovery. It will not burn you. It will only burn what you are not.

I write mostly women’s and historical fiction. Stories about the fighting spirit of women as they struggle, not just to survive, but to rise above crushing adversity with courage and honor on their journey of self-discovery draw me like a moth to a flame.

I am inspired by the inherent dignity and resilience of the human spirit and am often amazed at how characters so often rise above themselves when faced with seemingly impossible obstacles. I write strong secondary characters, giving attention and dimension to the people who play a major role in the journey of the main character.

Writing has always defined me

I have been writing as long as I can remember, beginning with making up stories as a very young child.  Even in those years life got in the way and I didn’t actually write, I was still a writer.

Prentice Hall, New York, published my first book, a college textbook, Introduction to Commercial Real Estate in 1990.  I admit that was a case of  “accidental author”  because I never intended to write non-fiction.  My heart has always been with fiction.

People often ask where I get my story ideas and inspiration. An idea can come from anywhere – a news story, a random comment, observation of interactions between people, my own or someone else’s reaction to an event or circumstance. 

 

For instance, the idea for High Cotton Country came from an incident that occurred in my childhood. The concept for A Shadow Life was inspired when we found some old records in a family Bible.

Once the kernel of the idea takes hold, I begin to see the story unfolding in my mind like a movie.  I just write what I see.

The thing I like most about writing is getting acquainted with new characters and seeing what they will do as the story develops. They often surprise me.

The ' get-a-life" part

There is life outside writing, although I confess at some level, I am always writing in the back of my mind. When not sitting at the keyboard I enjoy fellowship with a large, fun-loving family, interacting with readers and other writers, my rescue pup, Bailey, and church.

In addition, I love riding a motorcycle (trike), as a passenger. I do some of my best writing in my head on the back of the bike. I just have to remember it until I get home. 

Travel is also very high on my list and I have traveled extensively. Some favorite destinations are Hong Kong, Singapore and especially Ireland. My ancestors migrated from there to North Carolina in 1750.

The call of the open road.

The ride

The ride. A Stallion trike by Thoroughbred Motor Sports, Texas. (As a passenger, of course.)

It speaks to me

There’s just something about a long, lonesome road that calls my name.

Either way

She looks good coming or going and gives a great ride. 

“Travel…the best way to be lost and found at the same time.”
~Brenna Smith

Beech House Country House Hotel - Londonderry, Ireland

The best part of Irish food was the breakfasts. The pubs were fun.

BUSHMILLS

Ballintoy Harbor, Ireland

Beautiful spot. Good ice cream.

Checkout

Bushmills, Ireland

Interesting and fun stop. Samples. Here’s where I discovered Bushmill’s Honey Whiskey.

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