So much has happened since I embarked on my journey of becoming a writer many years ago. My life is best defined by Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken.” To paraphrase: “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood… I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.” I did take the less trodden road and, though Frost never mentioned how twisty and bumpy that divergent path often can be, I have never regretted my decision to travel upon it.
When I dreamed of being a writer as a child and decades later took the first steps toward achieving my dream, I never could have imagined the countless blessings that would come my way. I have published stories and books about what I love most in the world, dogs. I have been privileged to receive two Maxwell Awards and have been a finalist eleven times for this prestigious national award for the best writing on the subject of dogs. Those marvelous medallions engraved with James Thurber’s famous hound dog are pretty swell bling for a dog writer, especially one who adores basset hounds as much as I do.
Through my books, I have had the pleasure to meet many interesting people and to share my pooch passion with other dog lovers. My book sales have helped raise money for animal rescue groups, which pleases me greatly because I have rescued quite a few homeless pets of my own. My series is included on the AKC Best Dog Books list with many of the classic books about dogs that inspired me to write them myself. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Although I continue to write more Beanie and Cruiser mysteries, 2016 brings with it a new and exciting direction for me, the publication of my first romance novel. A thrilling paranormal titled The Secret of Bramble Hill will soon be released by Black Opal Books. It is also the first book I ever wrote, which was inspired by my travels in England in the early 1990s. As many other writers do, I set aside the first draft of the novel while continuing to work on other projects. I went on to write and publish a mystery series, nonfiction books and hundreds of magazine articles, but that unpolished manuscript was always in the back of my mind. I worked on it from time to time, revising the book until I was finally satisfied with it. As it happens, the publisher liked it, too. I hope my readers also shall when the novel comes out later this year. And never fear, fellow dog lovers; there’s a canine in the book.