Hello Dear Readers and the literary curious,
I’m in the editing phase with my first manuscript. (For about the tenth time. Who knew there was so much revision involved!) I can’t give you the title until after the results of ACFW’s First Impressions Contest because I entered it there. I am about 53,000 words into the sequel to the first book with two other story ideas in the plotting stage. Both books involve girls and horses. Here’s a photo that could come from either book.
Other writing credits include two plays for high school performance, The Wealth of Family, and Cinderella and the 8 Dwarfs.
I write in various genres, but all of the stories include animals in some way. I have a deep love for animals stemming from my childhood. We lived on a farm and always had numerous cats, dogs, pigs, cows, and horses running about. I begged my dad for a horse from the time I understood what horses were, and at the age of three, obtained my first pony. My dad rode that pony bareback across fields to bring it home. The pony was a chestnut and white spotted pinto, about forty-two inches at the withers, and had the name of Billy.
My first babysitter was a black lab named Sam. It is a rare photo of me as a child that did not include some animal or another. Multitudes of cats and a large number of dogs inhabited my childhood. Pepper was the only small dog. She was a black and white fox terrier– so old, her head and whiskers were dotted with grey. King and Queen were a pair of red tick coon hounds my dad purchased to breed. Not long after they arrived, King disappeared.
At that time, in the 70s, there was a real problem with dogs disappearing. Later we found out that a ring of unscrupulous individuals were stealing dogs from rural areas to be sold in Chicago.
Another dog was taken from our farm a few years later. Her name was Tippy, and she was a yellow lab, Sam’s daughter. She had a litter of puppies when she was stolen, and she dug her way out of whatever kennel she had been kept in and walked toward home. Eventually, exhausted with bleeding paw pads, she holed up in a dog house in a town a few miles away. The owner of the dog house found her and called the number on her collar. We went immediately and picked her up.
She was in terrible shape–so skinny, fur matted with burrs and briars. We took her home and cared for her until she was as good as new. I’ve never forgotten the devotion and determination that dog showed toward us and her pups. Most of the pups survived the ordeal as well, though they were without their mother for three days.
Currently, we have one dog, Ziva, who is extremely large and active. I also have over fifty Himalayan rabbits that I breed for show and sale, and my husband maintains a herd of forty some beef cattle.
We still have numerous cats. There are always new ones coming and others going. Cats are sometimes a transient bunch. New kittens are born each year. Some do not learn the important lesson that motorized vehicles are dangerous quite quickly enough. Others, find homes with friends. Still others, broaden their hunting grounds and never return. A few stick around.
To me, animals companions are indispensable. That’s why I include them in my books. I’ll keep you posted on the progress I’m making and the results of the contest. There are so many wonderful books and stories out there. I’m sure the judges will have a rough time choosing. Best wishes to all fellow authors.