Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small western Kansas town. Great Bend was a town of about 10,000 and everyone knew everyone. We used to wander the streets without fear. It was a wonderful place to grow up. I think my writing was influenced by the involvement the community had. By that I mean it was a place where the village looked after the children and each other. Early on I realized we all had a stake in the success or failure of other people. Sure there were exceptions but in general it was one of the best places I've ever lived.
When did you first start writing?
I was not a good student through High school.I really didn't have allot of self-confidence until I was in collage. There was an English teacher my freshman year who became my mentor and it had a profound effect on my scholastic career. She became a long time personal friend of my family and helped me believe that I was capable of teaching English on the high school level. Although I've written some short works it hasn't been until the last few years that I've began book writing.