I authored a humor column in my high school newspaper on the foibles and challenges of surviving high school as a klutz. It didn't impress the girls, but it did win journalism awards for humor.
At Augustana College in Rock Island, IL, I majored in English with a focus in creative writing. I published sixteen short stories and over 40 poems in the college literary magazine, winning numerous awards and serving as editor-in-chief my senior year.
After graduating I continued working on my creative writing while earning a living as a free-lance writer. After several years of working independently, I accepted a position as communications coordinator with a medical laboratory in charge of all written communications to clients. One promotion led to another until finally I was in charge of all contract negotiations (where I really got good at telling creative stories!)
Currently, I have a cool job flying all over the country as a consultant to laboratories. Process improvement and automation can get pretty technical, but a successful job always boils down to the people. Understanding their agendas, motivations, and politics helps me create believable characters in my own stories.
I love public speaking. I give talks to college classes on "Freelancing Your Way Into a Job", "Marketing Ethics", and "How to Make the Most of Your Liberal Arts Education." I have spoken at national sales conventions about the customer side of negotiations, and my spouse and I have given presentations to women's studies classes and conventions on "Building Bridges: An Inclusive Marriage Philosophy."
A life-long Dungeons & Dragons participant and fan, I continue to make time to follow my true passion-telling stories in the fantasy fiction genre. Fascinated by how the lines between good and evil are often blurred by motivation and context, I enjoy writing about complex characters who rarely fall entirely into either category.
I reside in rural Illinois, enjoying a native prairie on my land with my spouse, daughter, two cats, and an exuberant one-eyed, gimpy-legged dog named Clover.