I am a writer and author but started out in classical music. After years of piano lessons in my hometown of Jefferson City, Missouri, I received my Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. I was planning to pursue a career as a classical choral composer. I studied German and music history in Salzburg, Austria, at the Universität Salzburg Summer School, then went to New York for graduate studies at Mannes College of Music.
While working in the performance and administrative sides of the music industry, I spent much of my spare time watching the ships in New York Harbor. In 2004, I signed up as a volunteer at the South Street Seaport Museum and was soon hired to write about the museum’s ships. That led to sail training classes aboard a 19th-century schooner. My interest in tall ships and historic houses grew while giving museum tours. I joined the Working Harbor Committee of NY/NJ and was one of the dockside volunteers for the New York portion of the 2006 Godspeed Sail to commemorate America’s 400th Anniversary.
Professional organization memberships include the National Writers Union (NWU), Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and Authors’ Social Media Support Group (ASMSG).
In addition to being the author of the YA novel, The Unicorn Tree, two of my short stories, A Season for Christmas (2010) and The Signature (2011) won a People’s Choice Award for First Place Fiction from The Storyteller – a quarterly writers’ journal, and the short story, Ghost Inn (2013), is included in A World of Possibility, a short story collection by the authors of ASMSG. On the nonfiction side, my story, Saved by an Angel (2015), was printed in the November 30, 2015, Issue 48, of Woman’s World Magazine, more than 200 articles about museums, landmarks, and historic ships appear online, and I have written several classical music history articles for CMUSE.org – a music news website.