Reprinted from Cogwell's Corner, marketing newsletter

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Being a writer means first being a reader. I got my start at the tender age of nine, devouring science fiction short stories and novels. The author who had the most influence on me was Isaac Asimov. As I grew older, I couldn't believe how versatile he was, in non-fiction subjects as well as fiction. Who but Asimov could have written scholarly books on such diverse topics as Shakespeare, the Bible, and chemistry, then switch gears to create his famous Three Laws of Robotics? His presence here on Earth is greatly missed.

In high school I branched out to reading Regencies, having been metaphysically introduced to the great Georgette Heyer. The tone and the language of the era fascinated me: where else could you refer to a drunken man as someone who was chirping-merry, or three parts disguised, or a bit bosky, to name only a few phrases?

From there, I graduated to writing. I wanted to combine fantasy with my own particular kind of reality. “Special Delivery,” my novelette published in Notable Novellettes by Cogswell Publishing [now on], was born because of my preoccupation with the mail. You know, waiting for acceptance letters, contracts, checks, that sort of thing. I started to wonder what would happen if one day, the mail waited for me—or Ralph Dunmeyer, as it were. “Special Delivery” is the result.

Lord Darver's Match, my time-travel Regency novel with LionHearted Publishing [now on], began one morning with me snuggling in bed next to my husband. What would happen, I theorized, if the man next to me was not my husband? This idea germinated into Hillary Logan's plight—transporting her to early nineteenth century England ... and the Marquess of Darver's bed. So you see, by combining reality with fantasy or imagination, you can conceive the most inventive plots!

I've also had the good fortune of having several of my information articles reprinted in various writers' newsletters, including two that appeared in Australia. And in addition to “Special Delivery” and Lord Darver's Match, I've had one science fiction and two romance short stories published [now too many to count!]. As with the former, I incorporated personal experiences into the three tales. Who could have imagined strange-tasting food in a restaurant would have evolved into a dastardly plot to use humans as guinea pigs (“Special of the Week”) [now on]? Or that an anniversary party at a restaurant (not the same one!) would turn into a yarn about lost love (“Happy Anniversary”) [now on]? Or an intimate article of clothing left in a public Laundromat could serve as an introduction for two lonely people (“Friday Night”) [now on]? The possibilities for storytelling are endless!

So what do I do in my free time? Ah, is there such a thing? When I'm not writing, editing, or participating in national writers’ organizations; when I'm not working as webmistress and newsletter editor for an exercise program shown on public television; when I'm not doing household chores and raking up dropping from those beautiful but messy Ponderosa pine trees surrounding my house; then I ... sleep! Oh, I do love to fiddle with my five computers, browse in bookstores, swim, and maintain three popular websites. And I love to hear from readers!


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