In common with many authors, my career path did not form a straight line. I spent a rather lot of time reading as a child–after all, there wasn’t a whole lot else to do way out there on the family farm. I favored mysteries early on, supplemented by regular doses of televised Sherlock Holmes, Charlie Chan, and The Thin Man movies. Later I wanted to be a secret agent, ideally Emma Peel, but was under no illusion that would ever happen. So I went to college to study English and Art, successfully avoiding my parents’ recommendation to major in something practical, like Accounting.
Teacher, landscape designer, cook, art gallery owner and visual artist are all on my resume, some of which bear no relationship to my Master of Arts degree (under a different name) from Valparaiso University. I did meet my previous husband while working towards my degree. He was an academic who went on to teach at Yale, and the father of my one offspring who is now happily carving out his own publishing career while raising my delightful and ornery granddaughter.
One of my more ambitious projects was building a small commercial cookery. We had more garage than car so I sectioned off a large part of it and filled it with all manner of fixtures, fittings and shiny steel surfaces.The most profitable part of this adventure wasn’t the home-style baking that I was doing for local clients and coffee shops, but rather the two cookbooks that I wrote and self-published. Minimalist Cooking 1 & 2 are still selling well. Every now and again people reminisce about my cinnamon buns, and I make a batch for old times’ sake.
My other nonfiction success is the small self-help book about how to live with less, The Minimalist Woman’s Guide to Having It All. Sales of this have, and continue to, surpass expectations. This book was released via my blog, The Minimalist Woman. The blog itself is now in its fifth year and has maintained a steady readership throughout this time.
The Charlotte Anthony Mysteries represent my first published foray into the world of the traditional novel and I feel like I have finally found my calling. The other aspects of my life were all satisfying in their own respective ways but nothing matches the deep fulfillment that creating a believable cast of characters and a world for them to inhabit. I am currently writing my third novel in the series, An Undisclosed Vocation, and just know that there are many more to come! Prior to the release of the Charlotte Anthony books I had one other publication, flash fiction stories based around a common theme, Spirits of Place. I have recently pulled this one off the virtual shelf and made the whole book available here on this website. I don’t think that it could be more different from my novels–but please judge for yourself. I would be really interested to hear what you think.
For the past thirteen years I have been married to photographer and writer Steve Johnson. We live in a small Indiana town, not far from Lake Michigan.