My goal was to capture
the beauty of Michigan, with its woods and small country towns
in changing seasons. There had to be Victorian houses in my
book and a collie like my own Holly. Finally I needed a ghost
or an otherworldly element, although Jennet wouldn't have
her first supernatural experience until she saw the phantom
Christmas tree in Winter's Tale.
One summer I mixed my ingredients together
at Foxglove Corners began to take shape. I surrounded
Jennet with a cast of characters, including Camille Forester,
mistress of the yellow Victorian, and enigmatic Deputy Sheriff
Crane Ferguson, who has captured the imagination of my female
at Foxglove Corners was completed, ideas for other stories
clamored to be written, even before the first book appeared
in print. Throughout the series, Jennet's love of animals
is a constant. In Cry for
the Fox, she sees an animal rights activist murdered while
on what began as an enjoyable shopping trip into town.
Tale, she rescues a collie she finds wounded at the roadside.
Before the winter is over, she and the dog face a frightening
antagonist. The following spring, Jennet makes a gruesome
discovery while walking her collies in A
Shortcut Through the Shadows. Then autumn rolls around
and Jennet finds herself targeted to be the next victim of
a break to write three standalone novels of romantic suspense,
I returned to Foxglove Corners again. In the fifth book in
the series, Jennet and Halley are back. Set in the glorious,
golden month of October, The
Witches of Foxglove Corners brings an old enemy
back into Jennet's life and a new one, as well. And in my
most recent Foxglove Corners book, The Snow
Dogs of Lost Lake, it's the dead of winter. When
Jennet is diverted from her usual route home, she discovers
a mysterious antique shop, a haunted painting and murder.
The Collie Connection didn’t fall into place as easily as the previous books in the series. At the conclusion of The Snow Dogs Of Lost Lake, Jennet is dreaming about her May 1st wedding to Crane. In The Collie Connection, suddenly it’s May, and Jennet’s happiness is shattered when she loses her beloved collie, Halley. Will she find her in time for the wedding? Will she ever find her?
After I put the finishing touches on my book Snowhedge, I contemplated the outline I’d written for The Collie Connection. I’d lost my best friend, Holly, at the age of thirteen the previous summer. How could I write a book about Jennet losing Halley? I was still heartbroken over losing Holly and very lonely without a dog in my house.
I didn’t want to, but one day I realized that I could write this book and give it a happy ending. I did and in June 2009, I was surprised and overjoyed to receive the Golden Wings Award from my publisher for The Collie Connection. My new collie, Wolf Manor Kinder Brightstar, was there to help me celebrate.
In A Time Of Storms, because Jennet is experiencing life in Foxglove Corners season by season, it is late summer. She has been married to Crane for four months when a stranger threatens to shoot her dog Candy, who made her appearance in The Collie Connection. And Jennet finds another Victorian house to obsess about and an old diary as well.
Now that I’ve written several books in the Foxglove Corners series, I like to look back and recall how they began. A Time of Storms had its beginning with a real life incident related to me by my sister-in-law. It lay simmering in my subconscious for several years until I saw its possibilities as a new adventure for Jennet.
On the other hand, another incident inspired a book immediately. Judy Kuhn, who keeps me well informed about collie news in the area, told me a story about a beautiful blue merle, found by two collie rescuers traveling in another state. This incident became The Dog from the Sky. Judy was also instrumental in bringing me together with Faith, my cover model for that book, pictured in my Photo Album.
For about a year, while I worked on another book, I kept a picture from the Victorian Trading Company catalog near my computer. Ice skaters on a lake at sundown. It was probably a reproduction of an old time print, possibly a copy of a Christmas card. When I was ready to write another Foxglove Corners book, I used the picture as a springboard, adding the collies.
For the opening situation of Another Part of the Forest, I have my sister-in-law to thank. She told me about the hot air balloons flying over her property in Metamora.
Because I'm always thinking ahead, I may let Jennet and Crane take their long-delayed trip to Tennessee in the next book. After that, who knows? I love the characters, it appears that my readers love them,, too, and as long as I'm able to, I intend to keep writing.