How did I get here?

Going back in time....

This is the earliest picture I have of me working on my computer. It was taken twenty years ago. Pre-Mac computers by the way. Probably the last PC I ever owned as well. Also taken when I was still writing for a traditional publisher, Harlequin Love Inspired.

But in case you didn't know, my writing journey started ten years earlier than that.

For those of you who joined my list not that long ago, you probably got the opportunity to download a book I put together of articles I used to write for our local paper. Those articles came out of an advertisement I read in a magazine while sitting on a beach by a lake way in the middle of nowhere. Crooked Lake in British Columbia, in case you want to check this momentous place out!

The advertisement was for a writing school. I signed up and one of the assignments was to write ten columns on any topic. Gardening, photography, news. Well, I was in the middle of raising four children and taking care of one foster child. I didn't know enough about any of those topics to write one column, let alone ten. So, I figured, why not write a bit about my life.

I wrote my ten columns and my teacher told me to send them to a local paper. I did, to my shock they got published and I was off. That column paid for another course which was all focussed on my first love, literally, romance.

The romance novel I wrote for that course didn't fit any of the current publishing trends. Too Christian for Harlequin, too romancey for the traditional publishers. Until Harlequin decided they wanted to publish a Christian romance line. Thanks to the advice of a fellow writer - who told me not to just write one book, but write another one - I had two books ready to go when Love Inspired/Harlequin was actively looking for manuscripts.

I loved my time writing for Harlequin. The editors i worked with were dedicated and helpful and I learned so much.

But when I discovered Independent publishing - which is what I do now - doors opened to new opportunities for me. New ways of telling the stories I wanted to tell.

So here I am now. With almost seventy books in print and hitting the USA Today Bestselling list. Still enjoying writing thought I have to confess I've slowed down a bit. I want to take the time for my grandchildren while they still want to be with us.

But I'm beyond thankful for you, my readers, who have come with me on this journey.

Slowly but surely things are opening up. We don't have to wear masks at stores or inside public places. People are starting to venture out to visit.

In a few days we are leaving for the Netherlands. Hawaii next winter.

My sister visited from Toronto area. We hadn't seen each other face to face for two years. There were hugs and smiles and a few tears. It was so good to connect again. To talk, to laugh, to share memories and make new plans.

I'm so thankful that we can do all of this and hope our plans will not be foiled. Again.

Our trip to Europe is with our granddaughters. We were supposed to go in May of 2020 ..... but something happened....??

Anyhow, we hope to do it this year, Lord willing.

I feel like we've been tacking that last phrase on so many of our plans. The world has become an uncertain place the past number of years and especially the past few months.

Someone asked me if I write current events into my books. Like Covid. Wars.

Much as so many of the struggles that grip this world are in my prayers, they are not in my books. My readers know what is going on and I prefer to create a world where the problems belong to my characters. A place where people can escape, even if just for a few hours.

I make no apology for that. We all need those moments where we can set the pain and sorrow of life aside and read about people we know will reach their happy ever after. I think, this past year, more then ever.

While I try, as much as possible to bring reality into my character's lives, I prefer to bring things to a satisfying conclusion.

I know life isn't always happy ever after, but, like I've said before, many times the same person's life story can be happy or sad, depending on where you end it.

I prefer to end the story on a high note. I know my hero and heroine will face difficulties and sorrows. Grief and pain. Happiness and blessings. But I have to end the story somewhere, right? May as well end it at the place where you, as a reader know these two will probably make it! They belong together because each brings out the best in the other.

So that's all part of my writing journey and the reasons I write. I thought I would pull the curtain aside and give you a bit of a peek behind it.

And now, because I am not only a writer, but also a publisher, I want to let you know about a new book coming down the pike soon. It's another Aspen Valley book and the fifth in the Cowboys of Aspen Valley series.

Here's a look at the cover and a link to pre-order it if you don't want to have to remember. Though I will send you a link on the day it's released.

So you can wait for that, or you can order it now.

Meantime, take care, stay safe and blessings and peace be to you and your house.

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