Welcome, and thank you for looking in on my web world.
I’m a Kiwi, born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. I grew up obsessed with horses—thanks, Dad. Every year I asked Santa to bring me a pony. He never did. So around eleven I marched up the road to a house straddling two paddocks and asked the owner of a huge bay gelding if he’d allow me to exercise his horse. He looked me over, asked if I knew anything about horses to which I replied, “Yes lots.” Honestly, how hard could riding a horse be? ‘Henry’ bucked me off as many times as I climbed on his back, but when he saw me tramp across his paddocks in my gumboots, rain or shine, he trotted to me like I was his best friend.
(Me, aged 8 on Henry)
Photo courtesy of Marisa Hollis Photography (2018)
A must-do for most Kiwis is the O.E. (overseas experience). Some of us travel and eventually go home, others, like me, travel and find new homes. It was 1982, my best friend and I left New Zealand for Canada and the States. We landed in Vancouver stayed in youth hostels, traveled in Greyhound buses before buying a Kombi in Southern California. We named him ‘Dropkick’ and drove him around the States. It was an eye-opening, memorable experience for two twenty-something Kiwis, exploring spectacular countryside, meeting eclectic people and making new friends.
(Cooling off in the California heat, 1982)
Back in 1975 the British TV saga ‘Poldark’ aired in New Zealand. I rushed out, bought all the available novels, devoured them and fell in love with Graham’s moody Cornwall setting and his beautifully flawed characters. Years later those novels, which had profoundly moved me, shaped how I view the hero/heroine relationship, their relationship with other characters and setting. In 1992 while watching ‘Henry V’ starring Kenneth Branagh, a kernel of an idea for a romance novel took root. Today it’s my first novel, The Dragon and The Viper.
I graduated as a non-traditional student from Washburn University with a BA in Mass Media Electronics and a minor in History.
Now days I live in Kansas with family, which includes three cats. Each year for the past few years I travel somewhere overseas, often to New Zealand to see rellies (relatives) and mates (friends). In England I had an opportunity to get up close and personal with Henry V’s tomb, and in Wales I drove through the spectacular Brecon Beacons on the way to visit the ruins of Talley Abbey.
(Drawing inspiration at Talley Abbey, 2015)
Photo courtesy of Brittany Willes Photography (2015)
I love writing romance, creating and exploring characters who struggle, push back, grow, and fall in love. So it’s my pleasure to bring you The Dragon and The Viper.