Yes, I'm one of "those people" who has always been a writer. :) I wouldn't exist without the "writing" part of me--it's what makes me who I am. I told stories from my earliest days and my favorite childhood activity was going to the library to check out books. I read and wrote every day--at restaurants, as a passenger in the car, and while my parents shopped at stores. It was common for me to disappear at family gatherings and be found writing somewhere.
As a pre-teen, I recruited a couple of my friends to create a group called The Writers Club to write shorts stories and critique each other's work. In high school, I became editor of my school's literary magazine and had articles published in the local newspaper--but I wanted to touch lives through books as they had for me, so I was devastated to learn that being a novelist wasn't a "real job." I put my passion on hold when I went to Iowa State University, majored in journalism and mass communication, and enjoyed hosting an entertainment show on the campus TV station. English was my minor so I wrote for my college magazine and had several articles published in a newspaper where I interned for two summers.
I graduated in 2002 and worked in both television and radio for the next few years. In 2003, I married my college sweetheart, had a son in 2008, and a daughter in 2011.
My life-long ambition never wavered, though. I joined the Romance Writers of America in 2005 and submitted my first manuscript in 2006, followed by another in 2007. After publication fell through, I took a hiatus to be a stay-at-home-mom, but re-joined the RWA in October 2013 after my oldest child started kindergarten. Every November, writers are encouraged to join NaNoWriMo (write 50,000 words in one month). I'd never participated--but decided to try. Although it wasn't a romance like my previous books, an inspirational story came to me in a dream so I immediately got to work. It was literally a "dream come true" when I was offered a contract in December 2013 for The 20th Christmas. The novel was released at Barnes & Noble on October 1, 2014. . .and on November 6th I was ranked an Amazon Best Selling Author when The 20th Christmas reached a #3 spot. On Black Friday it reached the Top 10 list again (#8 Christian Fiction) and a third & fourth time in December 2014.
In 2015, I signed a contract for my second inspirational novel, Caged Dove, about a woman who was bullied as a young girl and returns to her hometown after being gone for fifteen years. A dramatic chain of events weave her life with a teenager contemplating suicide.
I spent 2016 with my youngest child (rather than publishing another book), since she started kindergarten in the fall of 2017 - but now in 2018 I've returned to the romance genre! My goal is to write a couple of books each year for the rest of my life. :)