I grew up in the heart of the deep South—rural Mississippi. After completing a nursing degree from Mississippi University for Women, I worked in mental health and public health. I returned to school to earn a master’s degree from Ole Miss and began a career in nursing education. Growing up in Mississippi deeply rooted me in family and community. But there came a time when that community no longer fit and I made the decision to leave. Always craving learning, I continued my education and earned a PhD from the University of Colorado.

Leaving the South opened my mind and heart to the world beyond my narrow upbringing. And once I began to see the world with new eyes, I couldn’t unsee. Trying to make sense of the parts of my identity forged in the South inspired me to write fiction.

When I’m writing the historical part of my novels, the academic side of me loves the research—sometimes I’m amazed, sometimes I’m appalled. The creative side of me is inspired to share what I’ve learned in the what ifs of my fictional characters’ lives. Women’s voices, especially, pull me in, haunt my dreams, and refuse to let me go until their stories are told. I treasure writing about women who overcome; women whose voices drown out the silencers.

My wife and I live in the lovely little mountain town of Manitou Springs, Colorado, along with our three pups. Our three children and one granddaughter are scattered about the country. I write novels, teach nursing, and continue to be inspired by the generative power of women.

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