I grew up in Springfield, Missouri, on a steady diet of Bible stories and old TV westerns. Maybe that's why I like to write about the past.
Or maybe it was Jo March in Little Women. She was a tomboy and bookworm – just like me. But somehow she managed to become a writer. And almost from the very beginning, that's what I wanted to be, too.
My first real job was as a newspaper staff writer on an old-fashioned Society page. I wrote about weddings and Girl Scout jamborees and old ladies who carved little statues out of gourds. Then I moved to South Dakota, where there wasn’t a market for Society page staff writers. So I began a career in advertising and public relations.
Over the next twenty years, I wrote about everything from Mount Rushmore to Water Piks, Navajo rugs to basketball shoes. Along the way, I lived in Kansas, Colorado, and Oregon.
In 1994, I left the corporate world behind and started writing books for young adults. My first novel -- Ghost Horses -- was published two years later. I also launched a second career, teaching professional and creative writing classes at universities in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon.
I continue write Young Adult fiction, but in 2007, I published my first book for adult readers: Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer's Life. This was followed in 2014 with the New York Times best-seller, Laura Ingalls Wilder's Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography.
Like Jo March, I’ve become an “American authoress.” But the journey has been longer, harder, and more fulfilling than I imagined all those years ago when I first read Little Women.