People and places have always fascinated me. I’d like to call myself a “socio-cultural anthropologist”—but novelist is shorter and easier to explain.

It all began in high school, when I devoured first Pride and Prejudice and then any and every romantic novel I could get my hands on. I still remember standing in a bookstore, looking down the long rows of shelves and thinking: “So many heroes waiting for me!”

And then came college and a brief encounter with marine biology. I swam away with a love of scuba-diving and the knowledge that I really wanted to see the world above water. So, armed with my brand-new geography degree, I hit the road. Sometimes it was a cobblestone path, sometimes an autobahn, but always an adventure. Last year I retired yet another passport and tallied up 55 countries (and 48 states, incidentally). Not Guinness Book of World Records material perhaps, but still… not too shabby.

I found a way to get paid for doing what I love most—traveling—and for a time led eager young adventurers to Mexico, brilliant seniors to China and corporate stars to Hawaii, always with my bag of books for company. But where was all this leading me?

Right back to the U.S., as it turned out, and a new career as founder and proprietor of a promotional marketing venture for ten years. Eventually, though, my wanderer’s soul started to itch. The hero of my own romance, my husband Hill, and I decided the only cure was to tour the world for a year. During all those long flights between continents, through the long, hot bus rides in India, and even on bumpy elephant rides in Thailand, I kept reading and writing.

Somewhere near the Equator, my life suddenly made sense. People, places and passion—that’s what it had all been about! Safely back home, I began outlining my first historical romance and sold my business to write novels full-time.

I live in Minneapolis these days, with Hill and our one child, a tabby cat named Cambridge. I’m an enthusiastic Board member of my local RWA chapter and I work weekly with critique partners and my writing coach. But I’m still ready to pack for a safari at a moment’s notice…

Writing is as big an adventure as traveling for me, because I embark on an emotional journey of transformation with my heroes and heroines. And, just like real explorers, they always have baggage to be handled, whether it’s Steamer Trunks, Roller Bags, Suitcases or Backpacks.

Arrrrg, Matey!
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