I was born into an impoverished family in West Virginia. My alcoholic and occasionally abusive father suffered from PTSD. He had been captured by the Nazis during WWII and had night terrors. My mother did the best she could, but I had to begin working as a child to feed my family. I started paying into the U. S. Social Security fund at age twelve, dreamed of a brighter future for my family, and have continued work for the next fifty-two years.
In the 8th grade, I won the school’s short story contest. “God Sent” was about a semi truck driver so consumed with theological debate that he caused a terrible accident. As it often does, however, life got in the way my dream of becoming a rich and famous author.
I worked and went to school, never finishing any more stories that I’d started, mostly because I was just too exhausted.
I started college in 1969, and except for a poem published in the state’s student anthology and another poem published in a local alternative newspaper, my creative juices were spent writing handouts for civil rights and anti-war activities, and on class assignments.
I graduated in 1973 with a degree in social work. Afterward, I worked in the field of adolescent substance abuse treatment as I attended graduate school. My creative writing was still on hold — suppressed / repressed.
After earning an MSW in 1977, I focused on children’s advocacy for the next forty years.
My heartfelt need to write fiction was dissipated somewhat by the publication of social service models, grants, research, investigative and statistical reports about children’s programs, child abuse, and delinquency.