I grew up in Buffalo Valley, which is a tiny community in Oklahoma. I was Valedictorian of my graduating class of 28 (I know, right?). I had my heart set on becoming an actress so I attended Southeastern Oklahoma State University which had one of the best theatre programs in Oklahoma at the time, and still does (shout out to Dell McLain, Aaron Adair and Riley Risso-Coker). Wouldn’t you know it, I fell in love before I graduated and although that man did not want to get married or be stuck with me, I knew I no longer wanted to go to New York and become a famous actress.
I lived with my wonderful friends Kim and Heath Gammon for a couple of years while I tried to figure out what I wanted to do. One of my jobs during that time was as a job coach for a gentleman with disabilities. I realized I wanted to work full-time with children who had disabilities. So back to school, only this time I attended Northeastern Oklahoma State University. I received my teaching certificate in Special Education and began teaching in my hometown.
I taught at Buffalo Valley for a few years and then moved to McAlester, Oklahoma where I taught at a couple of the elementary schools. I returned to Northeastern Oklahoma State University and completed a Master’s Degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood.
I had kept in touch with that man who didn’t want to be stuck with me and it was around this time we started dating again. He asked me to marry him (finally). A month later we were married and living in Ponca City, Oklahoma. I worked as a Special Education teacher at the American Legion Children’s Home and worked with students who had severe emotional and behavioral disabilities.
The following summer we decided it would be fun to move to Alaska. I applied for a job, had a telephone interview and in a couple of months we were driving the Alcan Highway. While in Alaska I wrote and published Places I’ve Peed: A Dog’s Tale, wrote a couple of children’s books, and wrote the first draft of The Elyian.
I loved Alaska. It was raw, and beautiful, and amazing. It was also very dark during the winter months and my depression and anxiety was unbearable, so back to Oklahoma.
I took a break from teaching and worked for a local newspaper. Then I wrote home studies for people interested in adoption and foster care through Eastern Oklahoma Youth Services. During that time, I had my beautiful Justus and stayed home with him for a year.
I was ready to go back to teaching and re-applied at McAlester. As of now, I still work in McAlester as a teacher for students with low incidence disabilities.
I had my beautiful Loralei a couple of years ago and she has completed our little family. That man that didn’t want to be stuck with me has decided he might keep me, and I’ll probably let him.
I have been a Christian since the death of my best friend and older sister when I was eight. I wish I could say that I have always been faithful, but I can’t. I’m very thankful that God was always faithful and kept bringing me back to Him. I stopped writing when we moved back from Alaska and life has just gotten in the way. For the last year, I have felt God’s call but I wasn’t sure what for. My heart yearned for it to be writing, but I wanted to know it was God’s will and not mine. I attended a Baptist Ladies’ conference where I heard Rebekah Lyons speak. I bought her book Freefall to Fly (buy it and read it), and it wasn’t long afterwards that I was sure God was calling me to share His message with Young Adult and Mid grade readers. So hang on ’cause here we go.