IT’S UP TO YOU TO MAKE YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE
HERE’S MY STORY. MAYBE IT WILL INSPIRE YOU.
I’ve dreamed of being an author since third grade and that dream finally came true when Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs was released. I had 20-plus years of marketing experience under my belt, including creating the first female-focused national real estate brand, Real Living. Throughout these years, I created a personal and business branding process, which I packaged in Real You Incorporated to help women entrepreneurs define their brands.
The experience of writing Real You, and touring the country to speak about it, was an awesome culmination to my marketing and C-level business career. I created Real Living, the first female-focused brand in real estate, and the industry’s first consumer Web 2.0 portal. Building the Real Living brand with my husband I won the Stevie Women in Business Best Entrepreneur Award, Entrepreneur Magazine’s Fifty Fastest Growing Women-Led Businesses and was named one of Forbes’ Top 50 Women in Business to follow on Twitter. (My favorite award, though, was Kiwanis International’s Humanitarian of the Year recognizing me for starting the first homeless shelter for families in Columbus, Ohio.) I have been interviewed on Fox News, NBC and local media outlets across the country. I spoke to organizations across the nation including The Entrepreneurship Institute, NAWBO, the American Marketing Association, eWomanNetwork, Rotary, Kiwanis, YWCA, Austin Balance Expo for Women, Key4Women Program of Key Bank, Women’s Council of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors.
And then in 2010, with the help of a tweet, we sold Real Living. I found myself in the enviable, but scary position of asking myself: now what?
We’d moved from our Ohio to California and once the kids were settled, it was just me and my computer and a too-quiet house. The answer had been there all along. Finally, I turned to the career I’d always dreamed of and began writing full time.
My first women’s fiction novel Here, Home, Hope about a midlife makeover, ironically, was published in 2011. I was happily writing women’s fiction, and that’s probably the path I would have followed until I went to lunch with Jane Porter, a fabulous bestselling author who had just moved to Southern California. She encouraged me to try writing romance and I did. And I loved it! The Indigo Island Series of contemporary romance novellas launched in 2014 followed by the Laguna Beach series and Kindle World. In the summer of 2015, I spoke at the national Romance Writer's of America conference in New York. My topic: Putting the Real You in Your Author brand (free download available on this site!). It's as if my career has come full circle.
I’m delighted to be able to say I’m a USA Today bestselling author. My books have won several Indie Excellence Awards, USA Book Awards, the Reader’s Choice Awards and honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest International Book Awards. Recently, I signed a two-book deal with Graydon House Books, a new Harlequin imprint. I cannot wait for the launch of Best Day Ever next September. It's another look behind the closed doors of seemingly perfect lives. A little darker, domestic suspense in the vein of All the Difference. I hope you'll give it a read. Enjoy!