Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Wife, mom, Nonni, author. Artist. I’m girding up to create an oil painting for my mantle. Having mostly worked in miniature sculpture, maybe I should have started smaller, but a yawning arch of 9’ by 6’ calls for drama. At least I’ll have fun trying!
The Breath of Dawn has a stunning cover!
Yes. I took that photo of Santa Barbara’s bay at sunrise while researching Morgan’s place. On the whole the cover captures the suspense and works well, though it’s hard to match the characters in your mind.
Why did you select the Rocky Mountains and Santa Barbara for your settings?
Since I’m nestled up against them, I have an ongoing love affair with the Rockies. Until the recent fire, I was on the trails behind my house almost every day, wending between pines with sunrays slanting through scrub oak and stony crags. See, I can’t answer without description happening. It’s good to choose locations you’re passionate about!
I put Morgan in Santa Barbara because it has an equal sort of magic. I wanted a place that would demonstrate his difference from his brother Rick, not typical California, but more of a retreat from the world. There’s a timelessness there I wanted to capture, and soul stirring beauty for his more laid back, urbane nature.
You tend to write contemporary/suspense novels about individuals who tend to escape into anonymity…what drives your passion to explore this arena?
It’s a good motif for suspense and allows secrets to be slowly unveiled, but it also speaks to my own inward journeys. Revelation happens in anonymity. Alone on a mountain trail with your thoughts pounding in the pulse in your ears....
How much of The Breath of Dawn comes from your background and experience?
Mainly Livie, patterned after my granddaughter Everleigh. She literally leapt from the pages. The rest of the story Morgan dictated, until Quinn took form and joined him. Quite a bit of Quinn’s background matches mine in essence, if not fact. The conman who preys on churches was purely imaginary.
How much research did The Breath of Dawn take?
I set a lot of the foundation in the previous books A Rush of Wings and The Still of Night. Birthed on a mountain trail as I listened to Morgan’s old playlist, this story flowed like magic. Pure joy.
Some of my other novels have required exploration of things like eidetic memory, labyrinths, rock climbing, and, in my current story, fire fighting. The Breath of Dawn is more an exercise in human nature, drawn from observation and interactions of life. In other words I hung out with the characters and didn’t complicate things much.