Some of my strongest memories from childhood include stories—and how those stories connected me to my family and friends. As a preschooler, I remember playing Island of the Blue Dolphin with my three siblings and the neighbor kids, my father reading A Street of Flower Boxes to us before bed, and my mother reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn on long car trips. I also soaked up Bible stories and accounts of grace and redemption during Sunday school and Good News Club. Along with my love of stories, my love of writing began in those early years with my very first written word—S-K-Y.
Even though I knew I wanted to write fiction by the time I was in the sixth grade, as I grew older I pursued other things instead, such as majoring in history and communications, and then working as a museum curator, then a public relations specialist, and finally as a magazine editor. Once I finally started writing fiction, it was another ten years until I sold my first novel. By that time I’d been married for nearly 20 years and had four children of my own to read to.
In the decade and a half since my first contract I’ve written twenty-one novels, from Beyond the Blue, a story about international adoption set in Vietnam, to Courting Cate, a retelling of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” set in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. No matter what I write, I aim to reveal truths about God’s love, beauty, and redemptive work in our lives. My goal is to connect more deeply to God, family, and friends through my writing. My hope is that my stories encourage readers to deepen their own connections too.
Awards I’ve received include Romantic Times Book Club Magazine’s Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Inspirational Novel, 2006, for Beyond the Blue; Christy Award, 2012, for The Amish Midwife; Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, 2013, for The Amish Bride; and the Oregon Christian Writer’s Trailblazer Award, 2013.