My fascination with fiction began as soon as I could read.  Piles of hardcover and paperback novels, mysteries, science fiction and fantasy and Shakespearean plays checked out from the local library entertained me through childhood and adolescence.

My work as a journalist, grant writer and consultant requires me to write compelling prose under word count and available space constraints.

The novelist within screams “Let me out!”

Most Sunday afternoons and rare weekday evenings over two years, I ignored the disciplines of the technical writer and let the author have her way.  Darien, the dashing chef driven by the pursuit of culinary perfection and hungry for a life-long partner in love. Ali, successful and settled but alone and wary of trusting a lover with her heart.  Their separate worlds on either side of the East River – family and friends, fears and doubts, hopes and joys – converged in my imagination and compelled me to describe what they saw and write the words they spoke.

In many ways, my love life mirrored Ali’s.  Divorced and doubtful that I would ever find the love of my life, I answered an online post from a man in Toronto, Ontario looking to share “a newspaper in the morning and a glass of wine at night.” He responded. We chatted online, ran up ridiculous long distance phone bills and even bigger credit card balances for round-trip airfares between Iowa and Canada before he proposed and I accepted.

The improbability of the story we’re still writing together inspired my romance muse.  Darien and Ali overcoming Reservations. Bonds of friendship to love’s promise and family for Darien and Miranda in Iowa’s Heartland. The place of Belonging for their daughter Marisa with Alistair in the Scottish Highlands.

Happily-ever-after happens in fiction and real life.

 

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