Well, here it is, my sixth book. I’ve been thinking about this book for a long time. In a way, it’s like I’ve come full-circle. But I should start in the beginning.
After returning home from the South Pacific, I wrote numerous magazine articles about long-distance sailing. After a few rejections, three different magazines published my work in the same month. That success gave me the self-confidence to seriously consider writing as a profession. Cruising articles morphed into RV and destination pieces.
One summer during an Oregon camping trip I spotted a girl, probably in her teens, walking along a rural highway with a huge pack on her back. She looked weary and hot. My mind whirled with reasons she might be out in the country, back-packing by herself. I would never know her story, but I made up one of my own. My first novel, Rosemount, was born that day. Leslie, the character in Rosemount, wouldn’t leave me alone. Her story wasn’t finished, so I wrote a sequel, McClellan’s Bluff.
While researching for Rosemount, I spent a day working with a cattle rancher in eastern Washington. He made several references to the Mount St. Helens’ eruption of 1980 and the disruption that event caused his cattle operation. Tenderfoot, a romantic suspense with a sub-plot of the Mount St. Helens eruption, was my third novel.
Although it had been on my mind, I had never written of Bruce’s and my experiences in Africa with the Peace Corps because I had reservations about the self-exposure that memoirs create. I tip-toed carefully into our story and, refreshing my memory with letters written to family at home, realized the story would interest people who liked to travel and to learn about other cultures. The gamble paid off. Tubob: Two Years in West Africa with the Peace Corps has brought me many opportunities to speak to groups about life in a third-world country.
Once in a memoir frame of mind, I wrote about sailing to the South Pacific and back on our own boat, Impunity. Sailing with Impunity: Adventure in the South Pacific has been met with much acclaim—especially from the sailing community. An audio publisher, New Street Communications, LLC, contacted me offering to publish it as an audio book.
Which brings us to my latest book, Maureen. The title character appears in both Rosemount and McClellan’s Bluff. Her story has never been told and it haunted me. Her story needed to be told; thus, Maureen.
Being a writer has enriched my life. I’ve made fascinating contacts and life-long friends with other writers, people whom I deeply respect. It’s gratifying to have someone come up to me in a grocery store and tell me they enjoyed a book or article that I’ve written. Someone has noticed, and that’s important to me.
I’m honored when invited to speak at library and community groups. Any writer would be thrilled when asked to attend a book club when the selection being discussed is her own.
My husband Bruce and I live on rural acreage on Camano Island, Washington, where I’m always thinking about my next book….
I am a member of Women Writing the West, The Writer’s Guild, Pacific Northwest Writers Association and Skagit Valley Writers League. I’m co-founder of Hard-Nosed Zealots, a critique group that has been meeting weekly since 1993.