No, I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer from birth.

Hopefully, my last blog inspired you to take a chance at writing. It doesn’t have to be a book, although it may end up as that. Putting thoughts on paper or a screen can be a gift to yourself and others by opening up areas of interest you have boxed away for years or didn’t know you had.

I was teaching in Carroll, Iowa, in my early twenties when I decided to write. After reading children’s books to my elementary students, I knew for a fact that I could write better stories than those I was reading. Spoiler alert – I couldn’t. I enrolled in a mail-in class at the Institute for Writers—Children’s Literature division. This was before the internet and before computers. I diligently typed my story based on the song “One Tin Soldier Rides Away” by the Original Cast. I mailed it away and anxiously awaited the critique. I don’t remember what feedback I received, but my idea was bordering on plagiarism, and it has been adapted over the years into multiple formats now available on YouTube.

My next attempt was to write a romance. The cardboard box filled with hundreds of typed pages covered in red revisions is in my garage. It got sidelined by children and several career moves. I will pull it out for a quick peek someday. Why else would I have kept it thirty-some years?

Fast forward twenty years, and I decided to try writing again. The ideas flowed, and I began concocting story dialogue out loud while doing housework. Truly a sign from God, right? Maybe not, but much of the storyline for my first novel, “Obedient Unto Death,” came from questions I had while reading the Bible and participating in Bible studies. I researched the time and politics when the disciples began spreading the risen Jesus’s message of salvation. The book of Acts and Romans is full of the trials and tribulations of the early believers and their struggles to start the “Christian” church. Many of the books I ordered (and there were a lot) came from academic and college presses, and it took some dedication to read them. But these books contained tantalizing facts that shed light on events during that time of Christian persecution, facts that would be intriguing to incorporate into— let’s say—a murder mystery.

And so began the journey to research and write the Mysteries of Ephesus trilogy. Book two, “Fortunes of Death,” will be published in the fall of 2024 by CrossRiver Media, and book three, the title yet unknown, is in the works.