About the Author
My publisher calls me "the author who often writes with a parrot on each shoulder." My Conure kids, "The Brothers Bob," aka Marley Bob and Smokey Bob, inspire me, amuse me, and are my constant companions.
I'm originally a Chesapeake Bay girl born in Aberdeen, Maryland. I then became an Appalachian Girl when my family moved to Bristol, Tennessee where I graduated from Tennessee High. I now live in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains, a proud resident of the rural community of “Ducktown," which is close enough to Atlanta to enjoy it, and far enough away to ignore it.
Widowed from the love of my life, John, in July 2015, I strive to carry on as he would want me to, which includes writing and enjoying time with our two sons and other close-knit family, my supportive circle of gal pals, and my menagerie of pets.
I am thrilled to release my first books in print. "Watching the Water" was originally on Amazon as a single-title Kindle selection from 2012-2015. Both are now available as a two-part paperback series and on eBooks, called the Heart Tide series.
Book 1, "Watching the Water," and Book 2, “Seeking the Shore,” are both available now at local bookstores and are on sale online. Special thanks to my publisher Terri Leidich, president of Boutique of Quality Books (BQB), who has graciously and supportively helped me in this exciting journey.
I hold a B.S. degree in Journalism from East Tennessee State University where I wrote for the university newspaper and was a member and officer of Phi Mu sorority. (I'm now very active on the alumnae side.) I have been a professional writer for more than 25 years, writing for radio, television, newspaper, websites, and retail and industrial marketing. I've received 10 Excellence in Advertising awards for creative writing and have had my work appear in numerous publications.
Thank you for visiting my website! I hope you will love the Heart Tide series!
I was so honored to be a featured author at the annual Discovery Show hosted by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA). Hundreds of booksellers, publishers, distributors and others in the industry attended this trade show on September 16-18, which was held in the city known as The Southern Belle of the Georgia Coast – Savannah! Oh, the stories that city writes with its stunning, historic architecture, majestic oaks draped in Spanish moss, and air that is sweet with the gracious and congenial perfume of true southern hospitality.
SIBA ’16 was fabulous!
SIBA ’16 was held at the Hilton Savannah DeSoto and gave me an opportunity to meet so many interesting people! They came from various places and held various roles, but all were bound by a shared passion for BOOKS. And the exhibit halls were filled with books for every genre under the sun. I loved the interaction, and speaking about “Watching the Water” at Sunday morning’s “Breakfast Buffet of Books” allowed me the chance to place it in the spotlight for seven wonderful minutes! I hope so much that independent booksellers will choose to carry it in their stores.
There were a couple of “interesting” happenings at SIBA … and I invite you to read about it if you want a chuckle, in my blog post “Dreams, Nightmares and Why Super Glue Rules”.
Here are a few photos from the weekend:
Melissa Conroy, the daughter of late novelist Pat Conroy, autographs her book, “The Lowcountry Coloring Book.”
We new authors do what we have to do! In hopes of making myself more memorable, I played up my residency in a community called “Ducktown” by giving away these book-reading rubber ducks! I’m pleased to say that they were a big hit!
My official SIBA badge!
Shots from the exhibits held during the annual Discovery Show hosted by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) at the Hilton Savannah DeSoto Hotel.
My publisher, BQB, had an exhibit at the show. L to R: BQB author Kathryn Ascher; BQB President and Publisher Terri Leidich; and me.
Getting ready for SIBA! Brothers Bob give two-claws-up approval on my new hairdo (which they will inevitably want to "nest in" sooner or later.
Hmmm ... could this be the cause of my Sunday morning tooth mishap?! (Read the story HERE.)
The Tale of Tybee
Watching the Water and Seeking the Shore are set in various locations, but a very important one is in a southern coastal town called Ambrose Point, where a majestic lighthouse looks out over the Atlantic Ocean.
When I was about a quarter way through writing the manuscript, my dear father passed away. He had been one of my biggest supporters, as well as a great resource for information since he had been a young adult during the 1930s time period of my story.
To be honest, I lost interest in writing after my father died. Without him here to share the journey, it just didn’t mean as much to me. This bothered my sister, Becky, who had been reading the manuscript. For one thing, she wanted to know what happened to my characters and how their lives played out.
So Becky bought me a lighthouse figurine in hopes that it would inspire me to write again. It was a beautiful rendition of the lighthouse in Tybee Island, Georgia. Not only did this gift spark my writing muse to finish the manuscript, it was also the beginning of a lighthouse collection that now numbers more than 20 figurines.
In May of 2016, I made a visit to Tybee with my long-time best friend and sister-in-law, Susan, who happens to be my webpage designer and marketing specialist. A major purpose of this trip was to get a picture of the Tybee Island Lighthouse for this website and perhaps even for the book artwork. In our minds, we envisioned me standing on the tower smiling down and waving as Susan took a photo from the ground. It was going to be fabulous!
Well, you know how things don’t always work out the way you imagine. Oh, I climbed the 178 spiraling steps that wound their way to the top. I have a little fear of heights, though, but never have I been more aware of this than when I stepped onto the octagonal tower of the Tybee Island Lighthouse, standing 144 feet above the land and water it guarded. Hugging the wall, I slowly inched my way around the tower while a gentleman tourist, with his lovely British accent, coaxed me back to the door and assured me this was a survivable situation. I was so frightened, I couldn’t even pull away from the wall far enough to take a selfie that included my whole face. That’s why you only see some of me in the picture. I guess saying I have a big fear of heights may be an understatement.
Watching the Water
Original Book Dedication*
To my big sister,
Rebecca Ann Williams*
If you hadn’t given me that lighthouse figurine to place on my desk
as inspiration, this story might not have ever been finished.
You cleaned my house so I would have time to write. You were the first
to read every page and told me to keep going.
Thank you, Becky.
Baby Sis loves you.
To the memory of my late husband, my soulmate, my It Guy, my “Hon,”
John Ward Morton
When it came to reading, you were more of a Clancy guy, but you
read this manuscript and encouraged me to take it as far as I could.
I’m trying to do that now and wish you were here to share the journey.
I know you know, though.
Someday we’ll talk about it.
Time and tide, Hon.
I’ll love you forever.
* The above tributes reflect the original Dedication of Watching the Water.
Sadly, my sister, Becky, passed away very suddenly late August, 2016, while the first run of books was being printed. While future copies will reflect this loss, the fact that she isn't here to see the book in print feels especially cruel. Thankfully, she did know about the Dedication and was very pleased. And I know she is cheering me on from her new home in Heaven.