I lived most of my childhood on the move, following my career Navy father around, except for three pivotal years in Oklahoma where my father’s family lived. After marriage and three kids, I went back to college and received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City where I spent many years as an administrator, mostly running the UMKC Women’s Center. That job gave me many great pleasures, including serving on the planning committee and as co-convenor of one of the critical area caucuses at Women 2000: Beijing Plus Five at the United Nations.
Health problems eventually forced me out of the university and opened the door to writing full-time. I published two books of poetry, had two poems read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac, and won some awards. I also published a cookbook. I took a deep breath and jumped into the fiction pond. My novel, Every Last Secret, won the St. Martin’s Press/Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition and will be published by St. Martin's Press in April 24, 2012. Every Last Secret has earned some wonderful advance praise.
You can order Every Last Secret at these fine stores.
Rainy Day Books I Love A Mystery Bookstore Powell's
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When I started writing this book, I wanted to explore Skeet Bannion’s character. She, like so many of us, is a good person still tangled up in family issues from her childhood. Skeet stars in the book I’m currently writing, as well. I wanted to spend more time with her and with my invented town of Brewster, Missouri, which partakes of so many Kansas and Missouri small towns I’ve known. I love mysteries set in small communities where the detective is a real part of the whole community. With Skeet, I have that—and yet, she’s not quite completely a part of it since she always holds a bit of herself back. I don’t know if Skeet will ever get over that. I’ll have to write it to see.
I enjoy knitting lace shawls, spinning alpaca and wool, weaving tapestries, and gardening with herbs and native plants when I’m not writing, always my first love. I am vice president of the Latino Writers Collective, a founding board member of The Writers Place, and a member of Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers, Kansas City Cherokee Community, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime. I live in Kansas City, Missouri.