Writing About the West

Full moon shines on the Three Sisters

  Monument Valley Tribal Park, Navajo Nation, Utah

Photo by Patricia Grady Cox

My writing aspirations began at the age of ten when I read The Diary of Anne Frank and started my own journal. In the

7th grade, I attempted my first novel: one chapter a week, involving aliens and shoot-outs.

   Testing in high school suggested I should be either a writer or a forest ranger, indicating (I think) a tendency to enjoy

being by myself. Either of those careers would have been a lot of fun but instead I became a social worker, which was

not always that much fun (although it had its moments).

   Twenty-six years ago I left social services and Rhode Island and headed for the wide open spaces of the west.

I moved to Arizona. 

 My published nonfiction includes magazine essays, newspaper feature stories, and book-length ghostwritten memoirs.

   I also researched, wrote and published a guide book for the Pioneer Arizona Living History Museum, located north of

Phoenix, Arizona, where I volunteered as a docent, portraying an 1800s ranch wife for several years.

   As for my fiction writing, I've won a few contests for novel chapters and short stories. I'm very proud to have my first novel, CHASM CREEK, chosen as a finalist in historical fiction by the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards.

    I believe the experience of immersing myself in the 19th century, my love for the desert southwest and my interest in Arizona history, bring authenticity to my fiction writing set in the 1880s.

   I am a member of Western Writers of America and Women Writing the West.