I was born and raised in South Carolina, and the first job that paid me for writing was that of weekend obituary columnist on my hometown paper, The Spartanburg Herald. I became a reporter after putting together a feature on my own initiative and giving it to the editor to prove I could do it. From there I went to jobs on newspapers in West Virginia and The Baltimore Evening Sun. I covered everything from school board meetings to a mining disaster, health care in prisons, poverty in Appalachia, and the experiences of Native Americans living in the city. And once I interviewed Hugh Hefner aboard his private jet.
I’ve written stories since childhood, but despite being the granddaughter of a smalltown police chief, I didn’t try mystery/suspense until a dream inspired The Heat of the Moon, which became my first published book in 2006. I was thrilled when it won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel.
I’ve served on the national board of directors of Sisters in Crime and managed its members-only listserv for seven years. My interviews with other authors appear regularly in The Big Thrill, a publication of International Thriller Writers, and I contribute crime fiction reviews to the Washington Independent Review of Books.
I’ve lived for many years in the Washington, DC, area. Currently I share a house in Northern Virginia with my husband Jerry, a long-time Washington journalist, and our cats.