A Little Bit About Me
I don’t know what it is about mysteries that I love so much. I don’t really like solving puzzles. And I typically don’t like playing mystery games, although I get paid to create them. Perhaps it’s the intriguing characters and the danger that lurks around every corner. Maybe it’s the nasty villains, who are only thinking of themselves. Or perhaps it’s the intrigue of finding someone hiding in the shadows. Whatever it is, I am never happier then when I’m engrossed in a good mystery novel, movie, or TV show.
After a 35+ year career as a nonprofit executive, I now own my own freelance writing company (Lil Dog Communications) and write for nonprofits and businesses all over the world. I have written for Patch.com and monthly articles for the Renton Reporter. I teach a class in “Crafting the Story” at Green River College and sat for two years on the Organizing Committee for the Seattle Film Summit. With a master’s degree in the Theater (directing), I guess I just love diving into a good story, whether I’m writing it, reading it, watching it, or bringing it to the stage.
My two dogs, Mango and Gracie, were the inspiration for Mickey and Minnie in the Old Maids of Mercer Island mysteries and also for the name of my freelance writing company. In book six, Mickey is gone and replaced by a new pup named Maggie. Maggie is based on our new pup Emma Jean (below)
About The Dogs in My Novels
It would be an understatement to say that I love dogs. In fact, I care more for dogs than many people I know. I not only have two dogs of my own, but I foster rescue dogs. So, there are often three dogs in my home. Therefore, I have to be good at watching where I walk.
When I began writing, I decided to include a dog as a main character in my novels whenever I could. So far, I've succeeded. A German Shepherd named Soldier saves the day in Grave Doubts. A Basset Hound named Grosvenor is good at finding dead bodies in the Giorgio Salvatori mysteries. Two miniature Dachshunds named Mickey and Minnie cause a lot of trouble (along with a talking parrot) in the Old Maids of Mercer Island mysteries.
I don't write silly dogs. They're true to life. Sometimes frustrating. Sometimes noisy. Sometimes quirky. Sometimes heroic. But always lovable. I believe 'my dog characters' provide not only a human quality to my stories (yes, I said that), but an added richness and depth. I hope you agree.
About the Social Issues I Explore
After spending so long working in the nonprofit world, it's second nature for me to consider exploring how to solve social problems. When I began Inn Keeping With Murder, the first book in the Old Maids of Mercer Island mysteries, I decided to use sex exploitation and black market adoption as the crimes someone might kill for. And then, at the back of the book, I included a section on how people could get involved to end this scourge. When fans reacted positively, I decided to do it again and again, exploring mental health, child abuse, and bullying. In The Essence of Murder, I come down hard on the cruelty of dogfighting. In the sixth book of the Old Maids series, I frame the story heavily around homelessness.
I believe wholeheartedly in the strength of the community that comes together to make a difference. I hope you will appreciate this aspect of my writing and explore how you might support a cause you believe in.