I grew up in Western Pennsylvania writing stories and poetry in my free time, so no one was surprised when I became a writing major in college. After receiving creative and professional writing degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, I went on to get my Master’s Degree in Professional Writing, and I worked in corporate communications until I had my children. Now I’m a freelance writer and editor and spend many of my days happily immersed in fictional worlds.
Bonus! Ten (Little Known?) Facts About Me
- In addition to being an award-winning author, I’m an award-winning recipe developer. I think I got that skill from my grandmother. We both love cooking and baking, especially for family.
- When I had my wisdom teeth removed, the surgeon insisted I’d feel like my cheeks were sewn to my gums but assured me they wouldn’t be and the feeling would pass. My parents grew increasingly frustrated with me over the week I was recovering because I couldn’t open my mouth. They thought I was “being overly dramatic” and I should just deal with the pain and use my mouth. Guess what… my cheeks were in fact sewn to my gums. It’s unheard of, but if it could happen to anyone, it would happen to me.
- Speaking of teeth…I’ve never had a cavity. Ever. Baby teeth or permanent teeth.
- I adore my pets. I know; most pet owners do. But it might interest you to know I never had a pet until we got first Casey, then Max, and finally Lucky. I had a pet-free childhood. Not even a goldfish.
- I can still do a split. Enough said.
- I play the clarinet, although I’m pretty rusty right now. (Use it or lose it, and I haven’t been using it lately.)
- I taught myself how to type when I started my third job. You can’t really be a writer hunting-and-pecking the keys.
- While most of my work is inspired by my Italian heritage, I’m also part Irish, Scottish, German, and Swedish. (All from Dad’s side. Mom is full-blooded Italian.) I’m working on integrating more of my dad’s side into my work. (My serial Laci and Del series focuses on the Irish heritage, but I haven’t explored those roots too much yet.) My son likes to embrace his Swedish roots and is desperate for me to write something with Vikings. I guess we’ll see…
- I could spell “Valentine” by the time I was three. (Though lately my mom has been saying I could do it by two, so I’m not entirely sure. Probably two-and-a-half to be safe.) My parents encouraged a love of words right from the start.
- The first time I earned (what was then) a generous salary from freelancing, it was actually a ghostwriting job, so my name isn’t even on the project.
Still not enough? Well, until we meet in person, you’ll just have to browse this site. Follow me on social media (the links are on the Links page). Or sign up for my newsletter. I’m always happy to chat. (I guess talkative is bonus number eleven on my list. But you probably figured that out already. 😉 )
I’ll leave you now with a photo of my dogs. Getting them to sit still long enough to get all three faces (almost) turned toward me was a feat! My options were motion-blurred smiles or meerkat-frozen desperation. I can practically see them trembling to jump up for some love before fighting for the prime spot next to me. They keep me company all day; they keep me smiling all day. Hopefully, they bring a smile to you, too.