When I began writing with the idea that I would like others to read my words, I started with romcoms. Romantic comedies were (and are) huge, and author Jennifer Crusie was my writing idol. (Check her out if you enjoy relatively clean romance, excellent characters, incredible dialogue and great dogs).
Traditional publishing was still the only way to see your book in print back then, so I went through the torturous query process with my best book, Living in Bliss, which included multiple attempted murders - a sign? Agents responded well to my queries but told me that while I write comedy and sex well, I miss the mark on romance. (No shock there, says the happy single chick.)
Then someone gave me a book called Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter. I was hooked as a reader, and just as important, I realized there are people like me who want to read dark stories about the worst -- and best -- in humanity. I stopped trying to force myself into a box that would never fit, and let myself dive deep into what really gets my imagination and creative juices soaring: dark psychological thrillers, sometimes bordering on horror, ALWAYS rooted in real life.
Each of my books started as an idea after learning about some real-life case somewhere and asking myself, What if? The Dollhouse could be tied to Elizabeth Smart, Shasta Groene, and others. The Hunted shares some similarities with David Parker Ray, aka the Toy Box Killer. The victims in The Mercy come from several true crime situations that break my heart and make me angry. Little Doves is a bit of a fantasy (for me) in that, for once, people like Epstein don't get away with it. And the soon-to-release Small Gods was ‘inspired’ by the manosphere.
For the record, I'm a pretty nice person in real life. I started an animal-welfare nonprofit that's still going 12 years later; I ran a social impact pet food company for 8 years; I'm on multiple nonprofit boards and try to do good whenever I can. My "pesky day job" (which I happen to love) is producing podcasts and webinars for a corporation. Hobbies include buying and killing houseplants, taste-testing tequilas, playing with my ball-obsessed blind dog Charlie (girl), and traveling.
Anyway. I'm glad you're here. I hope you enjoy the stories. Stay safe! There are weirdos out there.