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, and I had 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 that book, and touring the country to speak about it, was an awesome culmination to my marketing and C-level business career. (I created the first female-focused brand in real estate, and the industry’s first consumer Web 2.0 portal. Before that, I showed an Inc. 100 firm and franchisor that women were their customers.)
Along the way I’ve been honored with numerous Addys, Webbys, and Prism Awards.
During my time 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. And once Real You Incorporated was released, 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. I’m looking forward to my first speech for the Romance Writers of America in July 2015.
And then in 2010, with the help of a tweet, we sold Real Living, the brand my husband and I had built together.
I found myself in the enviable, but scary position of asking myself: now what?
We’d moved from our hometown of Columbus, 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. All the Difference followed a year later, and most recently, In the Mirror released in 2014. I love writing women’s fiction, and will celebrate two releases in 2016! I can’t wait to share more details about the stories.
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. Coming soon, expect more Indigo Island stories, as well as a new series set in my new hometown of Laguna Beach, California. Whether it’s contemporary romance or mainstream fiction, my hope is my stories sparkle with humor and heart, leaving a smile on your face when you reach The End.
I’m delighted to be able to say I’m a national bestselling author. My books have won the Indie Excellence Award, USA Book Awards, the Reader’s Choice Awards and honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest International Book Awards. The novels have been widely reviewed and featured in leading national magazines. I’m still working hard and building that career, learning from a wonderfully supportive reading and writing community. Speaking of support, I couldn’t ask for a more wonderful family. My husband and four amazing almost grown children are my biggest blessings. Oh, and my friends fill my life with joy. Thanks for stopping by!