I always wanted to be a print journalist. I helped create my second-grade
newspaper, worked on my high school newspaper, and ended up getting a
degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1979 in mass
Although I always knew I was a little hard of hearing, I was shocked to
discover as an older adult that I had a fifty-percent hearing loss in both ears.
The range is different in both ears: If I'm sleeping on my left side, I won't hear
the phone or the alarm. That explains why I was an average student, I suppose.
My ear doctor surmises the loss occurred when I had mumps as a child. It also
explains why school was hard. Even after obtaining a degree, I worked part
time as a state correspondent for a daily newspaper, covering two rural
counties to build up writing clips that finally landed me a full-time job on a small
county weekly as an education and features writer.
The first several months of working there, every day was Christmas. I loved
what I was doing, every day was different, and I was thriving. Unfortunately,
MS was already dogging my life and fatigue started insinuating itself into more
and more days. Then one eye went blind. My family ophthalmologist was of no
help, and then two other doctors immediately put me on steroids without
explaining what was happening.
It was my first, but not last, experience of discovering doctors can't always fix
things. I also discovered when the sight didn't come back clearly or with color,
that not every story has a happy ending.
By 1985 I could no longer work full time. I was able to do some steady
freelance writing for various regional publications, but by 1994, that also was
My brother David had let me read his first novel, what would become
Absolute Power, and I loved it. Because of his achievement, I started trying to
write fiction, because there has always been a need to write, to communicate.
The first three years were spent on trying to get out of the journalistic training of
putting everything in the lead paragraph and then explaining everything as I
went along. After several hundred pages of very bad fiction, the idea began
simmering for Sundog, and I began writing that book in 1997. It sold in 2003
and was published in 2004.
A Sundog Moment is
available through your local
book store as well as at
booksamillion.com, and other