For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer. I grew up in Iowa, published some poetry early on, won a contest and majored in journalism. But during my sophomore year in college, a speech pathologist friend talked me into watching one of her therapy sessions.
The session was long and breathtakingly dull but halfway through, her six-year-old client suddenly erupted in speech, shouting out ABCs, numbers, colors, animal names and coherent phrases. Here was a kid who’d never answered in anything but one-word responses, most of which were unintelligible. It was electrifying. So electrifying, I changed my major and traded journalism for a career in speech path. Years later, I learned the boy had reverted to one-word answers the day after his mind-blowing session and never had another breakthrough. But by that time, it was too late. I was already hooked.
Over the years, I worked in Colorado, Rhode Island, Iowa, and Florida but many of my summers were spent in England. One of my mysteries, False As The Day Is Long, is based on years of memories and experiences in London and the English countryside – minus the murder, of course. I just threw that in for fun.
An earlier mystery, False Impression deals with Florida’s east coast during World War II and how old secrets can destroy lives years later. In that one, a speech impairment provides a vital clue. See? Once a therapist, always a therapist.