I love writing page-turners—both fiction and non-fiction. And I love helping others to do the same, living into their dreams of writing books. I believe my success comes down to a respect for my readers and clients. I know I'm easily bored, so I work hard to engage and inspire both audiences.
I got my start as a writer in the most unlikely place—a town of 200 people in the mountains of North Carolina. Living there changed my life in so many positive ways. Decades later, I realized that everything I value today, I was introduced to there. My Appalachian Mountain Mysteries--"A Life for a Life," "The Roads to Damascus," "Welcome the Little Children," and “Murder Ballad Blues”--pay homage to the people of Appalachia who taught me so much.
Over the years, I've written more than 1,200 articles for major magazines, hundreds of newsletters and blogs. I'm proudest of the 18 books I’ve written. My nonfiction books include "Words at Work," which I wrote straight from my heart, a much-needed response to all the questions and concerns people have about writing today. (It won top honors from the National Best Books Awards.)
I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, but I've lived all over this country—from the Midwest to the Deep South to Appalachia to the Mid-Atlantic to the Pacific Northwest. Whew! I finally settled in Eureka, California, a place that reflects the values I learned while living in the N.C. mountains all those years ago.