Fun Facts and Favorites

I was asked to pull together some fun facts for my publisher and thought you might like to see the results:
I was given my first horror story to read by my dad, who, impatient at my childish choices of Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew and repeated readings of LITTLE WOMEN, urged me to read "real literature." He handed me a book of short stories. I'm quite certain he never read them because the first story was “The Pit and the Pendulum” by Edgar Allen Poe and (a)I was only eight, (b) my dad was really a nice person. He didn't know I would literally lose sleep after I read it. It scared me to death.
I'm not generally superstitious, but I've never boarded an airplane without a romance novel since surviving a scary crash landing while reading Jude Deveraux . It kept me calm.
I've traveled the world, once filling a passport and a half in three years. My favorite foreign city is London, although Rome is right up there.
I once ate a live fish in Japan so as not to dishonor my hosts and was then called Karen-san. Sushi is now on my "ick" list.
I spent my seventeenth birthday in a Guatemalan prison as a guest and only stayed a few hours, but hearing those big doors bang shut is a sound I'll never forget.
I have two patents for making Metamucil taste better.
I'm far from fluent, but am capable in American Sign Language and often interpret for my deaf child.


We watch a lot of movies in our house as my husband's hobby is movie reviewing (he reviews on So I see a lot of his flick picks, many of them quite good. But I still like what I like. For serious drama, “Chariots of Fire.” For a sweet love story, “While You Were Sleeping.” For one heck of a spooky scare, “The Sixth Sense.” When I want to just laugh, “Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure” (bogus, dudes) or Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (Shake N Bake). If I'm changing channels and any of these are on, I settle back and watch!
I'm hooked on “Bones” and recently discovered "Pushing Daisies." Funny show! So sorry Daisies was cancelled. I love to catch reruns of “Buffy” and “Angel,” too. (Grr. Argh.) Of course, "Law and Order" is a staple and "Cold Case" usually makes me sniffle. I often wish the the Cold Case folks would leave well enough alone.
Chocolate. Oh, you mean serious food? Chocolate. Oh, you mean nutritious food? Steak. Lobster's also good. Together, they're almost as good as chocolate.
I'm a country fan through and through (Garth Brooks, enough said). For writing, though, I listen to an endless loop of Barry Manilow or Josh Groban. I get lost in the music, except for Copacabana, which always jerks me from the computer screen to sing along. I should delete Copa from my playlist, but I like it too much! (PS: I've since deleted "Copa" from my writing playlist. I know all the words by heart, but it's too distracting and fun.) I recently saw Manilow in concert and it was so much fun to see him on stage, still belting out the tunes that my villains have murdered so many to!