When I was asked to think about my "brand" recently, it was a challenge. I write Regency romances. I am creating a series of first grade (roughly) level readers for those like my son who is 37 and has Down syndrome. I also coach fellow writers and teach online writing classes and I'm known for my Book in a Week work--which is about each writer using rapid writing as a way to discover how to write in tune with how his or her brain works and how writing fits into his or her life.

So...how does one put all that together? Well, I realized my brand is about HOPE. Everything I write comes out of the basic belief that our lives can be better, that no matter what challenges we face, there are ways to make it easier to do so, that it's possible to find or create moments of joy even in the midst of the most awful times.

I believe we can be happier as writers--using Book in a Week as a technique to help us discover how to do so.

I believe that even those like my son can have books that will bring comfort and smiles to them--and that they will read, if there's something that touches them emotionally.

I believe in love and honor and courage and even happily ever after. That's why I write romance. I believe that no matter how badly one might have been hurt, one can rise above it all to be better and happier than anyone might have predicted.

I believe in HOPE.

My own life? I've been married. I've raised two children--one of whom is brilliant and the other with Down syndrome. Each is gifted in his or her own way--even my son with Down syndrome whose ability to remember where he's been and how to get there again sometimes takes my breath away because that is definitely NOT one of MY gifts.

Like my characters, I try to live my life with honor and courage and a determination to create joy in my life and in the lives of those I others. In my own life, as in my books, I believe in HOPE.