I spent my childhood in Michigan loving books and movies. At age 13 those creative diversions ignited an idea. I would be an author. Immediately I took inspiration to action and wrote my first novella. Immersed in the creative process, I sensed to my very soul that I was on a journey of a lifetime.
After moving to Texas with my family when I was a teenager, I set my sights on being a novelist. At the time I didn’t know if I had the talent to achieve my lofty dreams. But the passion I felt to succeed ran deep enough to sustain me through years of disappointing rejections and fateful detours.
Writing consistently throughout my high school years proved empowering. Setting a goal to write my first novel before graduation gave my life a driving purpose and ultimately created my first social identity. To my peers I became “the guy who wrote the book.”
Initially, my undergraduate degree focused exclusively on creative writing. But advice from a career counselor proved serendipitous. I changed my major to English education, which expanded my professional prospects to include glorious decades as a teacher, professor, and school librarian. That change in major also resulted in my enrolling in a class where I met my husband, Jerry Roberts.
All the while I kept writing and submitting. Over time I expanded what I wrote. Early successes included getting teaching articles published in prestigious journals, winning a prize for a play, and having my first nonfiction book locally published. Finally, multiple publishing successes converged to create a career-paving trajectory. In a single year I became a reviewer for Booklist and received contracts from different publishers for a novel and three nonfiction books.
Those diverse opportunities initiated an eclectic writer’s journey. I became open to writing in an array of genres, both nonfiction and fiction. As a result I found more publishing success through large, medium, and small publishing houses. I even won multiple local, state, and national awards.
Then my agent shared an insight that dug meaningful new paths in my writer’s journey. She said I did too much. My published works were so diverse she didn’t know how to market me. What she saw as my limitation instead made me uniquely qualified to help others.
Years as an award-winning educator paved the way for international speaking engagements. Writing success in so many genres empowered my editing with insights from a writer’s perspectives for many types of fiction and nonfiction. Being published through major, medium, small presses, and then running my own publishing house gave me first-hand expertise to coach others to writing and publishing success.
My husband Jerry and I eventually retired from education to pursue our career passions full-time. He is senior minister at Unity of The Woodlands. Our children and grandchildren are thriving. We are most proud that their paths to success are lit by clear goals, sharp minds, and compassionate hearts.