I was one of those kids who was always being told to “Get your nose out of that book and go outside.” So I did. Book in hand, I’d climb the maple tree next to the garage and spend hours among the rustling leaves and swaying branches. Sadly, those idyllic years didn’t last long.
In the part of Michigan where I grew up, the prime agricultural products are blueberries and Christmas trees. Back in those days, kids could work in the fields picking berries at age 12, so the day after I turned 12, off I was sent.
The main thing I learned from those summers was that sitting in a classroom isn’t so bad compared to standing in the blazing sun for eight hours. The other thing I learned was that while Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden were fun, there was a whole world out there filled with books by authors such as Dick Francis, Josephine Tey, Ellis Peters, and John D. MacDonald.
I stated writing seriously in the late nineties. After a number of years in management, I felt the need to move on and took a job with fewer responsibilities. A month later, I was dead bored. I desperately needed something to wake up my brain; what could be better than writing? I started reading a lot of books on writing and happened across a particular sentence: “What’s it going to be, reasons or results?”
The phrase practically stuck me in the eye. I printed it out, framed it, and put it next to my computer. “Reasons or results?” At the end of my life, was I going to have a pile of reasons for not having done what I really wanted to do but was scared I couldn’t? Or was I going to sit down and write a book? Once I started looking at it that way, the decision was easy. A short 13 years later, my first book (Murder at the PTA, published under the pen name of Laura Alden) was published.
Except for a year in Connecticut, I have always lived in Michigan. Thanks to my maternal grandparents, my husband and I, Eddie, and Sinii, our six-pound killer cat, have the great good fortune to live on a lake in northern lower Michigan. We spend summers entertaining weekend guests and winters guessing which day the lake is going to freeze over.
When I’m not writing, I’m working at my day job, reading, yanking weeds out of the garden, or doing some variety of skiing. I also play the piano and violin and dabble in photography, but most of the time, almost all of the time, what I really want to do is write.
“Reasons or results?”