I grew up in the suburbs around Atlanta, Georgia: first in Decatur and then in Kennesaw. My parents were from Puerto Rico but moved stateside when they were young. My mother, from Humacao, moved to Manhattan at sixteen. My father was born in Ponce but he moved with his mother and brother to the Bronx when he was a little boy. After he and my mom married, his company transferred him to the South.
I was an early reader and an avid one at that. My mother tells me that I'd practice reading aloud to her — even while she mowed the lawn. Of course, she couldn't hear I word I said. Still, I guess my teachers at Leslie J. Steele School in Decatur did a great job of instilling the love of words, sentences, and stories. Thank you, sweet ladies.
I grew up watching Perry Mason re-runs. At around the twelve-minute mark, I'd announce the name of the killer, ruining it for my parents. But hey, I was never wrong. Maybe that's when I first started plotting and scheming my mysteries.
Growing up in Margaret Mitchell's hometown made me appreciate her ability to tell a story that captivated the world: of young lust, unrequited love, the Hades that is war; and the disgrace of slavery.
I may be a Southerner by birth, but by the time my husband, Martin, proposed to me on the Sausalito Ferry, I'd already found my heart in San Francisco. If you've seen the photos I post on Instagram, you've already deduced this.
I love to travel. If the town has a museum—fine art, historical, or zany—that's where you'll find me. I'll also be walking its streets, learning its neighborhoods, and reveling in its customs.
I spent almost two decades in advertising and marketing. Helping clients discover their audiences and tout their brands came easily to me. But when I brought my firstborn--my son—home from the hospital, I decided I'd prefer to write novels and started my first. The project I started that day is fully outlined, but it's probably going to be the last one I write.
It took fifteen years for my dream to become a reality—and only after I admitted it to a dear friend. Her response: "Just do it."
She was right. Thirty-eight novels later, I still love the process of creating stories that others enjoy. I know this because of their kind reviews and appreciative letters. Thank you, dear reader, for allowing me to entertain you.
I've yet to start that very first story. If I do get the nerve to finish it, I hope others love this Southern historic saga as much as me.
- Last Night I Dreamt of Cosmopolitans – A Modern Girl's Dream Dictionary (St. Martin's Griffin);
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Finding Mr. Right (co-written with Martin Brown; PenguinRandomHouse/Alpha);
- Marriage Confidential: 102 Honest Answers to the Questions Every Husband Wants to Hear, and Every Wife Needs to Know (Signal Press)
As a Freelance Journalist
I've interviewed Maya Angelou, Brenda Blethyn, Julian Bond, Kenneth Branagh, Jackie Collins, Costa-Gavras, Craig Ferguson, John Gray, Derek Jacobi, Debbie Reynolds, and John Woo. Her celebrity interviews and relationship trends articles have been featured in Los Angeles Times Syndicate International, Redbook, and Complete Woman, as well as AOL, Yahoo, AskMen.com, Divorce360.com, and SingleMindedWomen.com, where she serves as the Relationships Channel editor.
I get great joy in discussing the creative process with other authors. I've interviewed such notable authors as Samantha M. Bailey, David Baldacci, C.J. Box, Allison Brennan, Lee Child, Deborah Coonts, Robert Dugoni, Barry Eisler, JT Ellison, Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, Tess Gerritsen, Andrew Gross, Kristan Higgins, Jon Land, John Lescroart, John Lutz, James Rollins, Jason Pinter, Daniel Pyne, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Brad Thor, and Debra Webb.
You'll find these discussions on my podcast, Author Provocateur, and in the International Thriller Writers magazine, The Big Thrill.
IN CASE YOU WONDERED...
In collaboration with Emmy Award-winning composer/lyricist Rita Abrams, I'm the librettist of this musical adaptation of Jane Austen's treasured novel. Pride and Prejudice. Its premiere took place in the United Kingdom. Since then, the musical has won a San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critics' award for “Best Original Musical."
I'm proud to be a member of these organizations:
- International Thriller Writers
- Authors Guild
- Novelists Inc.
- California Writers Club
- Author Talk Network
- Sisters in Crime (US + NorCal)
I've had the honor of speaking with participants of these organizations:
- University of Wisconsin/Madison: Writers Institute
- (Workshops on plotting, first pages, character development, and how to find the action in the paragraph)
- University of the Pacific: Creative Writing Conference ( Workshops on plotting, first pages, and writer’s voice)
- Romance Writers of America / Sacramento (plotting workshop)
- Romance Writers of America / San Francisco (“Last Author Standing” workshop)
- Why There are Words (Literary Salon)
- Screenwriters World Conference Boot Camp (“Anatomy of a Novel Becoming a TV Pilot”)
- Jane Austen Society of North America - National Conference ("The Making of Pride & Prejudice - The Musical")
I take great pride in having produced these events:
- Between the Pages" Live fundraising Event for Kitsap Regional Library with Josie, Jane Smiley, Tatjana Soli, Eileen Goudge, and Joshilyn Jackson.
- "Happily Ever After Happy Hour" 15-city live tour event, co-hosted by regional authors.