vals-photo

I write about strong, intelligent, gutsy women who make mistakes and have lots of baggage because, as the saying goes (and I’ve expanded on), “Well-behaved women seldom make history—or good novels.”

Writing passions and topics of interest include literary novels, noir/mysteries/crime, travel, Marilyn Monroe, France, movies, quantum physics, fashion, pioneer women, suicide, groupies, psychology, dance, art, theater, the Vietnam War, politics, dogs, music, and spirituality.

A lifelong writer and reader, I was raised with my two siblings by an English war bride and an artistic army officer in an ultra conservative New Hampshire mill town during the 1950-60s.

Like my dad, I was artistic and loved to paint and draw. From the time I was four, I took dance lessons—ballet, jazz, tap. In school I acted in plays and was art editor of the yearbook. I loved the Beatles, Broadway musicals, and the French yeh-yeh singer Francoise Hardy.

the-family-in-al-uniforms

francoise

camelot

beatles

our-placeAs a voracious reader and night owl, I took to devouring novels by penlight under the bedcovers while plugged into a transistor radio until my parents caught me. I read everything from Nancy Drew to the classics.

I married young, had a son, and we moved to Oregon in 1973. For the next three years, I lived an in between life—that of an East Coast gal thrown into a counterculture world of single moms, outlaws, junkies, and hippies. After a divorce, I decided to stay in Oregon.

I still live on the river, but now thrive among creative friends in weird and wonderful Eugene, Oregon. My jobs have ranged from telephone operator, needle factory worker, berry picker, and log truck flagger to visual artist, cultural resource coordinator, graphic designer, strategic planner, and marketing specialist.

As a Francophile, I visit Paris as often as I can and the city sneaks into much of my writing.

me-and-dan-in-paris

 

Daniel Connors came into my life when Jason was six years old. Dan makes hand-carved wooden boxes and has dabbled in jewelry making and stained glass. We now have three beautiful, smart, and talented granddaughters: Alexx, Maddi, and Iree.

Our latest family member, Stevie, named after Stevie Nicks, is a Havanese puppy who has stolen our hearts and given us so many laughs our wrinkle lines are disappearing. (I wish!)

If I were hypnotized and regressed, I probably would have been a psychiatrist or a witch.

MY WRITING CRED

My work has appeared in Scent of Cedars: Promising Writers of the Pacific Northwest (Russell Dean & Company) and France, a Love Story (Seal Press/Avalon).

I was awarded a $4500 grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Monticello Award for Fiction, and writing residencies to Hedgebrook Writers Colony, Villa Montalvo for the Arts, Soapstone, Vermont Studio Center and Playa. I was fiction editor at Northwest Review for four years, served on the board of directors for Oregon Writers Colony, was co-founder of Willamette Writers Speakers Series, and am part of a brilliant writing group called LitChix because we are lit with a passion for writing and are gender powerful.

GET A FREE COPY OF REVENGE IN PARIS AND NEWS OF UPCOMING STORIES AND GIVE-A-WAYS!