The Dry Bones
Born Pasadena, California
Grew up in Tucson, Arizona and Danville, California
Presently reside in Tucson.
Graduated from University of Arizona with bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Wildlife Biology
Married to an engineer and we have one son whom I homeschooled for 8 years. He has since earned his Master’s Degree in MIS and works in San Diego
Activities/Experiences: besides being wife and mother, I am a keeper of hounds and a watercolor artist. I have raised chickens, turkeys and goats, made apple cider, hiked the Grand Canyon in a day, snowshoed three times into the Sierra Nevada’s Desolation Wilderness (encountering blizzards two times), managed a stable of sixty horses, worked at Steward Observatory as an artist and in the Biology Department at the University of Arizona as a keeper of rats, mice and frogs for experiments. I have cleaned oil spill off scores of seabirds so they could be re-released, nursed a sparrow and a red-tailed hawk back to health, and lost a snake in the couch. I play tennis, walk, journal, sketch and am teaching myself how to make books. I love to read, and I watch a lot of movies and I drive my friends and family crazy with my analysis and discussion of both categories. I am completely captivated by stories and words, especially in their function of communicating the truths of life. Most of all, I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and learning more about Him every day.
The Meat — Or How I Came to Write Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy
More than 25 years ago I left my college area apartment to go to a meeting with a man who would supposedly answer all my questions about the Bible and Creation versus the theory of Evolution, which I passionately supported. As I locked the front door, I remember saying to myself, “Those people think they’re going to convert me, but they’re wrong. No one can know for sure which explanation is right because no one was actually there back when whatever happened happened.”
The man did answer all my questions — every one of them. I just didn’t understand any of his answers. What I did understand — suddenly, stunningly — was the reality of the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and the fact that I deeply desired to know Him. Without understanding much of anything about what sin was, I acknowledged I was a sinner and believed that He died for me on the cross some 2000 years ago.
I came home utterly changed. Family members couldn’t figure out what was the matter with me. “What happened?” one asked. “Did they give you some sort of injection over there at that church?”
I was one of those wildly enthusiastic, intensely emotional converts. Evolution flew out the window and I’ve never looked back.
A year later I was married and living in Northern Arizona where the Lord introduced me to the taped sermons of Col. R.B. Thieme, Jr out of Houston, Tx. Col Thieme taught six times a week in those days, using an intensive isagogical, categorical and exegetical approach to teaching the Bible. I couldn’t get enough of it, sometimes listening to three tapes a day, which, since I was carless and jobless and still new to the community, I had plenty of time to do.
A year after that while house-sitting for some Christian friends I was complaining about a best-selling novel I had picked up, and my husband suggested that instead of complaining I might want to write my own. The light went on, the fire blazed and off I went. The very next day while dusting I discovered a copy of The Writer’s Market on the bottom shelf of a bedside table and in it was an article that was supposed to help you decide if you were a writer or not. I was.
Reading since before I even started school, I’d routinely carried home armloads of books from the library and read them all. I’d made up stories since I could remember, and when I was in junior high school I began to actually write them down. I wrote an entire novel in high school (a western) and started another (SF) before I left for college. I even had the audacity to send the western off to Doubleday for consideration for publication. When it was returned to me six months later I was mortified that I had actually shown it to anyone and threw it away lest I ever be tempted again.
Now, with my husband’s encouragement I started a Christian western. Four months later I saw Star Wars at the same time as I was in the midst of a Bible study about putting on the armor of God, and something clicked. Suddenly I could see all the parallels and metaphors. I scrapped the western and launched into SF allegory . . . It changed into fantasy entitled The Shadow of Ghel, a novel that got me two agents and an almost-sale before I rewrote it from scratch for the third time, renamed it The Light of Eidon and submitted it to yet another agent. He loved my work, but told me the market was saturated with that sort of fantasy. I needed to do something entirely different.
So I wrote Arena, had it critiqued by multiple critiquers, worked and reworked it, polished it to a high sheen and sent it out to the world… only to have it bounce off publishers’ desks. After about six months of that, and rejections from almost every major house, I picked up a book on Christian fiction and suddenly realized that what I was doing fit right into their parameters (except for the SF/F part).
Within three months of that decision the Lord had sent me to Mt. Hermon where I met Steve Laube who was then an editor at Bethany House. I showed him my proposal for Arena and after snorting somewhat disparagingly at my characters’ names, grumbling about synopsis writing being the worst a writer ever does and asking me to tell him off the cuff what the book was about, he decided that he wouldn’t be able to tell without seeing it. So he asked me to cut 20,000 words and send it to him. Which I did.
And then, once more, I waited…and waited…It was a year and a half before he finally pitched it to the editorial board and they bought it. A year and a few months later just before it released, Publisher’s Weekly gave it a very positive review and suddenly they wanted to The Light of Eidon and the other books in my Guardian-King series. Before Arena had even hit the bookstore shelves, Bethany House had purchased all four Guardian-King books. Even more amazing, they went on to publish them all.