It goes without saying that I've had a lifelong love affair with creative writing. But I've found that just about every published author has a similar tale: "From the time I could write my ABC's, I've been writing little 'books' for my family and friends." And so it was for me.
After college, I took a job as a public relations coordinator at a chemical company in Richmond, Virginia. It put food on my table but didn't exactly feed the soul. I spent my days doing technical writing and my nights writing fiction. In fact, I wrote a whole novel--gobbledygook, yes, but it showed me what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
I sent that first-try novel to a couple agents. One of which was Molly Friedrich. She graciously read my work and emailed me a long, considerate email that nicely said something to the effect of: This is dribble. But I see a spark. So if you really want to be an author, get educated. I'll never be able to thank her enough for her honest advice. And I followed it. To the tee. I applied to an MFA program at Old Dominion University near where my husband (fiance at the time) was in medical school. I was ecstatic to be accepted and nervously quit my job to move to Norfolk, Virginia and join the unpaid, indebted graduate student ranks. I couldn't have been happier. In that program, I met some of the most instrumental people of my life and wrote my first (well, second) true novel, The Time It Snowed In Puerto Rico. Read more on her website.