The youngest of five children, I grew up in rural South Carolina, in an environment similar to Armstrong Crossing in Death at the Old Mill Pond. My parents were determined to send all five of us to college and worked at many different businesses to make ends meet.
Our family had a general store, an old mill pond, a grist mill, saw mill, and a fishing landing on Lake Marion. We all worked hard, and hunted and fished to supplement our diet.
I won an award for writing at age sixteen, and have been a writer ever since. While majoring in English at the University of South Carolina, I worked on the campus newspaper and at the radio station.
After college graduation, I bounced around in various jobs before finally moving to New York, where I landed a job with the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau. That led to the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, where I discovered my lifelong career, managing conventions and exhibitions.
After managing my own convention management and consulting business in Washington, DC for 18 years, I traveled to England for a free lance project. There I met and married my London Cockney husband, John Sommerville.
I went to work for the Institute of Physics in London, managing events all over the UK. We lived in England for eight years and then, like many Brits, retired to Spain.
There, in the tiny village of Rafelguaraf in Valencia Province, I began to write Death at the Old Mill Pond. The setting was my home in South Carolina, based in part on an incident from my childhood.
In 2010, after the death of my only sister, and my only living aunt, I began to be very homesick. Once again, my husband and I packed our bags and started anew, this time back in the USA.
It feels good to be home again!