From the first sentence of anything I write, readers have no doubt that I am a southern girl, born and bred in Nashville, Tennessee. My Connecticut Yankee husband and I met at Emory University, where I majored in English literature. After a fortunately very brief stint in Philadelphia while my husband was in optometry school, we returned to the Atlanta area, finally settling to raise our two sons in Suwanee, Georgia.

The Warstadt homestead

In the late 70’s-early 80’s, Emory’s English department provided a deep education in literature by important authors like Faulkner, Hemingway, Chaucer, Milton, and others currently more obscure like Edmund Spencer and John Donne. As a product of that program, I resisted the label of “romance writer” for many wasted years, and even hesitated to send my novels out into the world for fear of ridicule by my literary peers.

Then two miraculous things happened. One, at the suggestion of a friend, I attended a Georgia Romance Writers meeting. These authors are smart and serious about their careers. Far from being the fluff of popular criticism, they tackle issues like PTSD, bullying and abuse, depression, and chronic illness, all subtly woven into stories of love and fun and hope. Their meeting speakers address all manners of craft, from the appropriate use of grammar to doing research before you write about a setting or occupation you have no qualification to use. There is fun, too, and eroticism, but there are enough subgenres of different heat levels and motivations to provide room for any writer who needs a home.

Second, I realized that two of my favorite authors, Jane Austin and Charlotte Bronte, were romance writers before it was even a thing. Heady company for a housewife from a small town in Georgia. Another more contemporary author, Diana Gabaldon of Outlander fame, is also considered a romance writer. I should be so lucky to write a beautifully as she.

Outlander-some of the best writing out there

I have lots of other interests besides writing, but somehow they all seem to make it into my stories. My husband and sons supersede any and all other activities, but with the boys grown, that is a far less time-consuming occupation than it used to be. I love to cook, and make the best chocolate chip cookies known to man (according to my cookie fans!).  My husband and I started travelling in earnest about 2013 and continue to explore the world with great enthusiasm. I was an avid gardener until I developed a wicked allergy to the fire ants that are everywhere in Georgia. With a bucket list a mile long, I expect to have a continuous stream of new settings and adventures to share with my readers.

Steve, Kevin and Brian-who give everything meaning

Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to meeting you online and in person.