The cave is dark and damp. A tall gaunt man in an oversized t-shirt and corduroys, tip-toes next to his meddlesome Great Dane. As they round the corner a ghostly figure appears; but in their haste to get away they all collide and Shaggy and Scooby Doo see it’s not really a ghost at all.
That was my first taste of mystery and suspense. I was only six years old when I discovered that suspense is built upon carefully placed clues. These breadcrumbs provide mysterious tales with logical explanations. There were three constants growing up in my house- God, Country, and mysteries. My mother had the entire set of Agatha Christie, the complete set of Nancy Drew and too many other mystery authors to name. I also grew up in a Christian home and had family members who had served in the military. How did I process all of this? The Celia Kelly Series.
Because of my love for books, writing seemed to be the best creative medium for me. Although it was actually cinema that inspired me to create my first mystery series. My husband was working away from home and I was devouring mystery-suspense movies in his absence. Before long I was deducing plot lines from the opening credits. I decided to create a story that not even I could figure out until the end. I began to form an original character in my mind and thus, Celia Kelly was born.
When I decided to create the Celia Kelly Series, I wanted something fast paced; something as a reader you had the opportunity to discover the mystery as it unfolded for her. The message had to be clear, no matter what the obstacle or how high the mountain there is always a way over or through! Although reading can be an escape from reality, I also like walking away with a better understanding of the world around me. Often times, I think books can teach us something about ourselves that we didn’t know before. That’s one opportunity I hope to give others with the Celia Kelly Series. When the going gets tough, Celia Kelly looks up and relies on her faith in the face of adversity.
I’ve learned that there is a great responsibility that comes with being an author. Most believe that media reflects society. To a certain extent that is true. I believe that media, (books, TV, movies) can influence society for the better.
When writing about the military one thing always stands out. The military is a life of service. That’s something everyone can relate to no matter what job they are in. No matter what our job or what walk of life, it is our responsibility to serve others in some way and make a difference. I write about heroes because I believe each of us deep down has the opportunity to be somebody’s hero in some way.
I have a blog called CN Salutes where I interview those who serve and have served our country. I find myself in awe of every selfless story. Soldiers leave everything to protect all that we stand for as “One nation under God”. While soldiers are over there they have families here serving on the home front. Those families sacrifice being with their loved one. They share their family with the entire nation. That’s service! I have been blessed by their example.
I am most proud of my family. I am a wife, mother and grandmother. My husband, Glen, and I raised our children in Montana. God blessed and allowed us to raise four amazing individuals who now have careers and/or families of their own.
Our oldest daughter, a teacher, is married and they have a daughter. My youngest daughter is married to an Army Black Hawk Pilot and they are raising three boys. My daughter Melissa and son Kyle live in LA, California. Melissa is a photographer married to comedian Dave Coulier (Joey Gladstone from Full House/Fuller House) and Kyle is writer, director, producer and owner of Bring Media Production Company.
I love being a mother and now I am enjoying being a grandmother. The best thing about being a grandmother is its all quality time- just me and them. It is the best and I can’t really explain it in a way that does it justice, it has to be experienced!
Age has taught me that we get distracted by life and often forget why we are here. We all have gifts given by God that make each of us unique and necessary to the world around us. There are many ways we can be an example to our peers and minister to others daily. When you feel compelled to help fill a need, you are being driven to serve. It’s our responsibility. Serving others is what gives us purpose and direction.
So how do I translate that into military, mystery, suspense? Life itself is a story. Sometimes mundane, sometimes filled with action. We don’t always know what may be in store for us next. I want to remind people that with faith, the extraordinary is done by ordinary people every day. So like Shaggy and Scooby, even if you don’t know what’s just around the bend inside the cave? There is always hope or at least a logical explanation. There is always faith. God doesn’t only know where you are headed, He’s right beside you every step of the way.