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I started writing around the age of 4 when I dictated stories to my mother. She patiently wrote them down and I illustrated them (I’m being kind to describe the scribbles I made as “illustrations!”)
As an adult, I began by writing romance and discovered an organization of like-minded writers, the Romance Writers of America. I also became a member of a local RWA chapter, The Colorado Romance Writers. This group of writers was welcoming and nurturing to a “newbie” and they found a critique group for me–of which I’m still a part. I learned what an honest critique can do for a story and they’ve helped me grow tremendously as a writer.
Romance writing is an excellent training ground for understanding the story elements of conflict and goal, characterization and pacing.
But don’t think for a moment that changing genres–from novels to scripts–hasn’t been challenging, it has. It’s completely different, yet so much the same.
I am fortunate enough to have as instructor and mentor, the well-known screenwriter, Robert Gosnell (WGAw and The Writers Guild of Canada). He suggested my name as a candidate for writing the adaptation of the nonfiction book Mother of the Pound–a story of faith and love built around the ethnic struggle in Iraq during the turmoil of WWII–because Robert knew I wrote romance and believed I could craft a good story to boot. Thus my screenwriting career was born with Cry of the Dove.
On a personal note,
I was born in Germany and very lucky to be adopted by an American couple. We lived in Germany for several years, then moved to California where my father was a scientist at the Rand Corporation.
We moved to Colorado so my father could continue his research at the National Center for Atmospheric Research while my mother completed her MFA. She taught metalsmithing and jewelry design at a local college. Under my parent’s guidance and patience, I was encouraged to be creative and nurture my “Lessie do it” attitude.
After college, I moved to LA, but was lured back to Colorado with the promise of managing a new business, where I worked for many years alongside my mother designing and crafting beautiful jewelry. We were chosen by the University of Colorado to design and create their Ceremonial Mace and Presidential Chain of Office. It’s a wonderful legacy.