Thank You

“All mankind is of one author,
and is one volume;
when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book,
but translated into a better language;
and every chapter must be so translated…
As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only,
but upon the congregation to come:
so this bell calls us all:
but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness….
No man is an island, entire of itself…
any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind;
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee.”

—John Donne

Personally, I’d never read this entire meditation. All I knew were the words I’d read or heard often: No man is an island.  But I have to say, after reading this, it is so true and meaningful. You see, this is a Thank You page. I have no interest in self-importantly announcing that no one has ever helped me, that I’ve accomplished all this on my own.  Kudos to those for whom that statement is true, but for me it very much is not. There are many people I would like to thank for helping me accomplish my dreams.

First and foremost, God.  I wouldn’t be alive without you.

My family, all of you, I love you and appreciate you. You’ve helped make me the person I am. Good and bad, you get the credit. Most of all, my husband and hero, Craig. Thank you for supporting me, valuing my work and making it all possible. Thank you for our beautiful daughters. Whom I’ll mention when they’re old enough to know what they’re getting in to. My life would be empty without the three of you.

I would also like to thank my extended family. My parents, step-parents, grandparents, in-laws, my 8 sisters and 5 brothers for their acceptance of the strange changeling I’ve always been. Wandering around with my nose in books and barely sparing any glances for the rest of the world. Most of the time, they aren’t sure what to make of me, though they love and support me. :) And special thanks to Desi, for being the second (after Craig) to read Betrayed and love it enough to read an endless series of drafts.

I will always be thankful for that cold January morning in 1997 when my husband and I were leaving for classes at the community college. I sat in the car and heard Myrna Temte tell the DJ about a local writer’s guild, when they meet and where. I’d wanted to be a writer since I was little. I’d even taken an aptitude test when I was 12 (Yes, it was for fun. And yes, I am weird.) that confirmed editing, agenting or writing was for me. Well, I narrowed it down.  Definitely writing.

I talked a friend into going with me for the January meeting of the Inland Empire Chapter of RWA. Immediately, I found a place I belonged. Everyone was so friendly and helpful, and I learned what I’d never known: there’s a group all about writing romance! That was my introduction to Romance Writers of America.

I haven’t left since. I haven’t wanted to. Never have I met such a group of men and women so dedicated to writing.  I’ve loved every experience of the last 9 years. Along the way, I met some wonderful authors who’ve inspired me, encouraged me and become my best friends. Among them (I’ll only list the ones with websites. Keep watching because I will keep adding to the lists. :-)

The Divas

—who supported me during all my highs and lows. I couldn’t have survived 2003 without you.

Alicia Rasley— A valued writing teacher, author and friend.  Anything you need to know about writing is on her website.

Deborah Lawson— A kind-hearted, generous friend. Anything you need to know about history can most likely be found among her many, many resource links.

Teresa Basinski-Eckford—If you need to find it history, she knows where it is. Check out her insightful book reviews, too.

Robin Perini—She’s a gifted artist and teacher who knows how to bring out the best in your story.

My IECRWA past and present:

Angelina Evans—if it weren’t for this author dragging me to Starbucks, I may have quit writing during my Dark Days.  And Betrayed would be a languishing, constantly in revision, lost manuscript.

Bonnie Hamre—A talented, world traveled author with mountains of knowledge and the kindness to share it.

Jeanne Savery—Everything graceful, natural and harmonious is embodied in her work, her family and her home. She’s been a wonderful inspiration to me.

Joan Overfield—If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have known Natasha Kern would be such a wonderful agent. Thank you for all you shared with our chapter.

Janet Ulbright—You are an inspiration. Your organization, hard work knowledge of the industry awes me.

Laura Williams AK Xenia Navarre—A beautiful, talented author with a gift for great historical fiction.

Maryn Langer—A woman blessed on many levels, who uses her gifts well to bless others.

Myrna Temte—My thanks will never be enough.

Patrice Lewisand her fictional alter ego Patrice Moore—My good friend, an excellent writer.

Sunni Jeffers—A mentor and counselor. I am blessed to know you.

Susanna Carr—A gifted author with worlds of wisdom.

Sandy Smith—You’ve been so kind and encouraging to me over the last several years.  I truly value your friendship.

Teresa Davis Lunde—Beautiful and gracious, you are an inspiration to me.

Fellow RWA volunteers

Ally Anderson—Your creation of Cata University is a gift to writers everywhere. Thank you for taking the time to make something so special.

Charlotte Dillon—Her site was picked again by Writers Digest as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers because she takes the time to make it one of the best. Look for the listing on their site later, and in the May 2006 issue of Writers Digest.

Jo Beverly—This is a salute to the master of satisfying endings.

Visiting Authors

Christine Feehan—I am such a fan. It was great meeting you at Emerald City 2002!

Elizabeth Boyle—One of the sweetest, most encouraging women I’ve ever met. Thank you for havig me as a guest on your blog.

Jayne Ann Krentz—I doubt she remembers her signing on my 25th birthday, or the time she took so graciously to give me submission advice, but I will always remember.

Linda Needham—Thank you for making feel so at ease during Emerald City 2002! And the workshops she gives are awesome.

Nora Roberts—Who couldn’t be inspired by this wonderful woman? My husband loves the books she signed for him. So did I.

Stella Cameron—I will always value the day she spent with our chapter and the words of encouragement and wisdom she passed on to me.

As John Dunne said, no man is an island. And no life is perfect. So many of us struggle through life-altering events that teach us strength, perseverance and mental fortitude. Without groups such as those I’ve listed below, these events can be nearly impossible to overcome. From my disability, Friedreich’s Ataxia, to my daughter’s brain tumor, a Thalamic Ganglioglioma, these are the organizations that have helped us both:

Childhood Cancer AwarenessAmerican Cancer Society
Cancer Patient Care
Inland Northwest Candlelighers
National Brain Tumor Foundation
Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation
Camp Goodtimes

Wishing Star—They were so kind in helping us go visit family we hadn’t seen in years during an extended layover on our way to Florida. They do so much to help families like ours every year, from a theme park day to a Christmas the year we weren’t likely to have one, they are a great, priceless organization.

International Network of Ataxia Friends—their email lists are the most helpful, supportive and informative places for people with Ataxia. I’d be alone and in the dark without them.

Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA)—hoping one day there will be a cure.

Musucular Dystrophy Association

From RWA, to Tragedy, to Published!

That’s my journey, anyway. After a couple of really difficult years, life became so much brighter. I’d faced the fact that Someday may never come, so I had to quit waiting for it. I finished BETRAYED, gathered my courage and sent it to one of the best agents in the industry. And she loved it!

Natasha Kern—Without her unflagging support and genuine belief in my writing, not to mention her brilliant hard work :-) I never would have been in a position to share my stories with everyone!

Carol Craig of The Editing Gallery—After lots of hard work with this dedicated freelance editor,  Betrayed became a tighter, more polished book. I will always appreciate her kindness and patience.

Nikki Arana—Thank you for welcoming me into Natasha’s family.

After years of reading and loving the wonderful paranormal romances at TOR, I am so happy to learn that I’m to become one of their authors! My sincere gratitude goes to my editors Anna Genoese and Heather Osborn. And to all the authors who’ve already made TOR’s paranormal romance line synonymous with A Quality Read.

Special thanks go to all the wonderful authors who’ve stepped up to give BETRAYED a truly wonderful release!

Thank you to everyone working so hard to support CURSED:

  • Gena Showalter, New York Times Bestselling Author
  • Diedre Knight, Award-Winning author of The Midnight Warriors
  • Sylvia Day, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author (for all the many, many things you help me with.)
  • Sue Grimshaw, an amazing lady.
  • Diane Germanowski, the perfect creativity coach for me. Smart, thoughtful, focused and persistent.

Thank you to everyone who has encouraged and supported me, especially my many friends and family members. This journey would have been impossible without you. Please note, this is not a static page. It will continue to grow as I gather information, links and, always, more friends.