A Short Biography
From Artist to Author
and Bunch of Stuff In Between
One of my earliest memories is of my mother sitting at the kitchen table sketching a picture of a little girl cradling a newborn colt. I was amazed that she could do that and decided I would do it too. My first pony drawings were... less than impressive. And drawn in weird places, like on the underside of the coffee table. My mother had always wanted to be a commercial artist, but she was of the generation where she was told she had to become a wife and mother, not pursue a career. I was of the generation, however, where young women were casting off those old traditions and reaching for all they could and wanted to be.
My mother was also an avid reader, and my father could devour a book in a single sitting. And so at a tender age I was introduced to some pretty weighty reading for a child. Jack London was my favorite. And later, J.R.R. Tolkien. I discovered that I could see the pictures created by the authors' words. And then I started to draw them. In third grade I impressed my teacher with the drawings I did to accompany a funny story written for class. At thirteen years old, I was painting oil portraits and writing full length novels.
I grew up with three brothers. There were two half-sisters I never got to know until later. My father was a very hard worker and a lover of baseball. So when he put in long hours at the office and then coached baseball with my brothers, I longed for more time with him. Somehow my youthful understanding of things told me that I would have more time with my daddy if I did boy things. Climbing trees, playing street ball with the boys, and even playing the drums when I got into high school. I can't say that my choices were the best ones, overall. I didn't really fit in with any group at school or at home. If the Lord has a plan for our silly choices in life, perhaps His was to give me plenty of time on my own... to dream of things beyond my own little realm.
A turning point I simply cannot overstate came when a friend of mine lent me a copy of "The Hobbit." This small act set the course for my career pursuits. I was working as a secretary. I was recently divorced. The bar band I played drums with had broken up. And Middle Earth just seemed like a wonderful place to escape. This led, inevitably, to piles of drawings and volumes of fan writing, which then led to art school and serious personal studying of writing techniques. I wanted to be a published author. I wanted to create book cover illustrations.
I moved to Atlanta to get away from the cruel winters of Chicago (following my friend who gave me The Hobbit), joined another band, met my future husband, survived the collapse of live music at the hands of disco and DJs, flirted with financial ruin, went through a time of fruitless pursuit of the things from my youth, and finally settled down with a wonderful man who gave me a wonderful daughter. Yet I never let go of those dreams... to write, to paint, to create. At the completion of art school I obtained work in graphic arts, and my paintings started winning awards at the science fiction conventions.