I learned to love stories at the feet of my grandfather, my papa, someone who could make even the most mundane stories spring to life. It is thanks to him, to those many hours spent listening, that my life has taken the path of writer and educator. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I write Women’s Fiction, low SFF, and murder mystery. I currently work as an Associate Professor of English, teaching creative writing, composition, developmental English, and Humanities. I write when I can; I drink tea all the time; I love to travel and learn new things whenever opportunity allows; I take photos along the way.

Some random things about me:

I’m a six-times WI Cherry Pit Spit Champion. I won my first trophy when I was twelve, and I don’t think my dad has ever been more proud of me. I went on one year to win the overall trophy with a personal best of 39 feet 11 1/2 inches. It would have gone farther, but it hit a measurement marker and bounced back.

I refuse to pick between dogs and cats, and you can’t make me. I had a Golden Retriever growing up, and he was the best boy ever. I have two cats right now, both torties, both angry at the laptop that takes up their snuggle spot.

I sometimes wonder about how many strangers’ homes my likeness is hanging up in the backgrounds of their photographs.

I refuse to compromise on chocolate – it has to be good. Dagoba’s Chai (which doesn’t exist anymore *sobs*), Alter Eco’s Deep Dark Salted Brown Butter Bar, and the dark chocolate covered ginger from the Willy Street Co-op in Madison, WI, are my all-time favorites. The best chocolate I’ve ever had, though, was when I was assistant director of a study abroad to Costa Rica, and we took the students on a cocoa tour – we crushed freshly roasted cocoa nibs, mixed in a little cinnamon and cain sugar, and then all died of bliss.

I know music is a super personal thing – but I have a hard time understanding how someone could just “not like” music. To be fair, my dad was a drummer in the ’60s in Chicago, and I grew up in a music-filled home. I was also raised to know that music is always best live – whether a large concert venue or someone with an acoustic guitar on a tiny stage in a coffee shop, I’m in my happy place. (Though as an Introvert, I do prefer the tiny coffee shop.)

I hated coffee for the first thirty-two years of my life. Couldn’t even stand the smell. Then I went to Costa Rica, and my co-director introduced me to the mocha – and now I don’t know what I ever did before coffee. Don’t let people tell you otherwise – chocolate is a gateway.

Some quotes from some of my favorite books:

“There are those who might think that think this was an act of useless bravery in an extermination camp when there were other, more pressing concerns – books don’t cure illness; they can’t be used as weapons to defeat an army of executioners; they don’t fill your stomach or quench your thirst. It’s true: culture isn’t necessary for the survival of mankind; for that, you only need bread and water. It’s also true that with bread to eat and water to drink, humans survive; but with only this, humanity dies.”

~ Antonio G. Iturbe, The Librarian of Auschwitz

“The moon is always jealous of the heat of the day, just as the sun always longs for something dark and deep.”

Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic

“It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

“There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne, it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.”

L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
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