I was born in upstate New York, but raised all over Texas, in the rolling plains of the north, the piney woods and wild orchid marshes of the east, the beautiful, mellow and muggy Hill Country, and the desert mountains of the furthest point west.
Bouncing through several majors at UT Austin, including a year of journalism, I finally graduated with a major in anthropology and a minor in English. Leaving a boring office job and a dead-end relationship (or maybe vice-versa), I became an itinerant archaeologist, working throughout Colorado and New Mexico for several years. (Ask an archaeologist if she got into it because it sounded romantic and adventurous. She will say no, it was the intellectual satisfaction of reconstructing past civilizations. Ha!)
The life of a shovel bum is fun when you are young and yearning for life experiences: lots of travel, meeting new and interesting people, learning all the time. But eventually I tired of always needing to scare up the next job. I wanted to retrieve my books and music from my parents’ attic and live in one spot for a while.
So, I returned to school, earning an MA in anthropology at the University of New Mexico. I found a permanent position with NMDOT, allowing me to live in Santa Fe but to travel all over the state, becoming familiar with people and stories of isolated Hispanic mountain villages, mining towns in the rugged west, ranchers in the eastern plains, and the multi-ethnic border culture.
After years of steady advancement into a managerial position, I felt restless. By that time, I had begun seriously studying photography, had met the man I would eventually marry, and wanted a new direction. So, like many over-educated people seeking change, the answer was obvious. I’d go back to school!
I earned another MA, in Public History at New Mexico State. My specialization in architectural history provided a broader scope for descriptive and narrative writing and photographic illustration, and resulted in a book, Historic Architectural Styles, Las Cruces, N.M.: Celebrating 150 Years.
After a stint in the Midwest Office of the National Park Service, spending summers recording architecture in California, winters in Omaha writing reports, and a lot of time in airports, I knew I belonged in the West. So here we are in New Mexico, devoting our time to what we love the most, writing and, for me. photography. My husband and I have written one book together, St. Louis Olympics, 1904.
Death in the Time of Pancho Villa is my first venture into fiction.
Recipient of the 2018 William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant, I am a proud member of Sisters in Crime, and a member of the Guppy and Croak and Dagger (Albuquerque, New Mexico) Chapters. I am also a member of Women Writing the West, and the Historical Novel Society.