A little about my life… be kind, this stuff is hard to write!
I invite you to step inside my books and find many far-flung worlds of magic for you to escape to, where I have captured the mythos of magical worlds and made them accessible in ways that I hope will beguile and charm, frighten and enthrall, in short, enchant those of the mundane and non-magical world. Where fantastic characters and their tales have been articulated, and they are just waiting for you to discover them.
First, though, if you don’t like cats, dragons, and books that feature strong, magical women and their strong, magical men, this is not the place for you! So, having been warned, welcome to my world–
I live in a small village in the mountains of New Mexico, which is the Land of Enchantment. Quite fitting for me, my books, my family, and our cats. NM has its problems, as most states do, but the people are kind and there are four seasons. Spring and autumn zip by, but they’re there. My job brought me here (either I moved or I was out–some choice!) but I preferred it to where I lived before–Nevada. It took a while to come to grips with the much-slower pace of life here. But I took an early retirement from work, focused on my writing, and here we are!
As promised…a bit about me.
I am and always will be a military Brat, because it made me who I am. Brats love that designation, for we have always been different; this way, we know one another. Once a military Brat is plunked down in a new country, one of the first things they learn to say in the host country’s language is, “Where is the toilet?” Also, how do I get home?
The second thing I learned in Japan was, “What kind of meat is this?” Not that Japanese food is unsanitary–quite the opposite. There was a list of creatures I swore I would not eat—baby animals, vermin, and insects being at the top of the list. My first overseas domicile was in Okinawa, where I started school, and my second was in Japan, where I graduated. Sort of a fitting “start and finish.”
When I lived in Japan as a young person, I would set out for Tokyo on my own, or with a friend, with hardly a thought as to what I was doing. I rode trains everywhere, having very little idea of where I was going, and certainly not being able to make heads or tails of the written language. This was in the early 70s, so very few signs were also written in English. To find a toilet in Japan, you ask, “Toire wa doko desu ka” and hope they at least point you in the right direction while they try so politely not to laugh. I still love the Japanese people. My husband and I were married in Japan; it was quite an experience. Oh, and “ore wa don’na nikudesu ka is what kind of meat is this, as best as a computer translator can do for me. But the toilet—I don’t need no stinkin’ translator! I’ll remember that one forever. Funny, but I never thought to learn how to ask how to get back to Fussa, where I lived…
After I transitioned from being a Brat, and into being a military wife, the next time I learned to ask for a bathroom, it was, “Wo ist die Toilette?” Since I had a young child, I added, “Beeil dich bitte?” Yes, I was in Germany. By the way, that means, “Hurry, please.” And of course, Was für ein Fleisch ist das? the meat question. I didn’t get any less strange about what I ate as an adult…
I bring these points up because, while the life of a military child/spouse is seemingly exciting and glamorous life, it is more often isolated and melancholy, especially if you are a shy person. I moved to a different place every year from the time I started school in Okinawa until I started the 10th grade and finished high school in Japan. Making friends was an agonizing and fruitless undertaking, until I got to Japan. And so…i read. I discovered fantasy and sci-fi. At the age of ten, I started writing–creating my own worlds and filling them with characters.
From my earliest years, I created fantasy worlds to escape to and flourish in. When I got to Japan and made friends, it surprised me to find that I wasn’t alone; the world of fantasy was appealing to many of them. But so did a “normal” life to young, unwilling gypsies. We dreamed of having fathers who worked 9 to 5, and never left for weeks at a time. I was around 11 or 12 when I figured out that not all fathers wore the same clothes (uniforms) as the others to work every day. How unusual!
My personal world was never so mundane. Ælves and witches, dragons and griffins occupied it. Magical people, magical creatures, with races and languages and mythos of their own. Worlds with orange skies and oceans, endless mountains of ice, deserted cities that bore a startling resemblance to a nuked New York. And I wrapped them all in countless fables, with evil and good fighting for control. Animals had souls, many could talk, and all knew right from wrong. Those who inhabited my worlds talked and battled and performed magic. Women were powerful; men were considerate, and vice versa.
The mythos I created sustained me. And now, I share them with others in my writing. But a lot of my lost and unhappy childhood has found itself into my work. So beware! But also, welcome!
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