4Anyone born on Good Friday the 13th is bound to have a bit of contrast in their life. I am no exception. I am a midwestern, southern woman. Born in Kansas, raised in Florida. I met the man of my dreams (literally I had a dream about him before I ever met him) at a bar, though we barely to almost never have a drink. He hunted and fished, drove a giant diesel truck, and was a non-practicing (i.e. can’t remember going to church) Presbyterian. I was a pescetarian, who loved camping and hugging trees, totally would have owned a hybrid if I wasn’t a poor grad student, and a practicing Catholic. I have no doubt our families thought we were a little crazy when we married eighteen months later at the super old ages of 24 and 23. We are opposites in so many ways, but we share a love for God, His church, each other, and our family, and that is what matters most of all – at least we think so.

My last two vehicles have, in fact, been hybrids and his is now a fuel efficient diesel. He still fishes, but doesn’t get the opportunity to hunt much. I now eat poultry and occasionally organic beef, and I still hug a tree every chance I get. But now I bring our sons along on the hugging expeditions, and my husband laughs (with us or at us, it isn’t clear) as he takes our pictures. 

When it comes to writing – I had no desire to write fiction until I was 30 and wrote my first novel. I think the reason may have been that my brain was too full, and it was not yet my time. A week after my husband and I married, we moved from Florida to Mississippi so I could get my PhD in Clinical Psychology. For the next five years my brain was overflowing. I loved it. It was challenging and fascinating. It is still challenging and fascinating, and I still love it. Almost five years to the day of us moving away from my husbands’ childhood hometown we came home. He had a job, I did not. I soon started working in a private group practice, and for the first time I felt like I had time to breathe. This is when writing started to wiggle around in my head, because there was room to wiggle.

I finished my first novel in 2012. I can proudly say that it is not good, but it allowed me to begin learning about the craft of writing. It was also somewhat cathartic as we were struggling with infertility. We now have two amazing sons thanks to the incredible gift of adoption.

Our boys are eighteen months apart and came to us as toddlers. Before our second son came home, the characters of Jonah and Bria entered my mind. But then I became a busy mom of two super energetic preschool boys and was working twenty plus hours a week at a non-profit, that really needed me forty plus hours a week. Again, my brain had almost no wiggle room, and Bria and Jonah left. As the months continued and being the mom of two became less overwhelming, Bria and Jonah came back. I did everything I could to ignore them, and it worked for awhile. But as the months went by they went from popping in every now and then to never leaving. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t ignore them. Although I enjoyed writing, I had no time and didn’t believe I was any good at it. Through prayer, it became obvious that their’s was a story I needed to tell. I worked through the self-doubt (there was a lot of that!) and began writing during Lent of 2015. The Light is the result.

I have been overwhelmed by the kind words from those of you who have taken the time to review my books or reach out to me via social media or email. I really can’t thank you enough for your praises and encouragement. This has been a crazy journey, one I never thought I would be taking! But one I am so grateful to be on. Thank you to each of you for joining me!

“Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure.” ~ St. John Paul II