Sally MacKenzie decided to become a writer in grade school when she read one of her stories to the class. Her classmates laughed and she was hooked. She sat down immediately to pen her first novel.
Well, not exactly.
The hooked part is right--cursed might be a better description--but the sitting down and writing part came later. Much later.
Sally eventually went on to college, majoring in English, and, upon graduation, did what many English majors do--she went to law school. But she still couldn’t shake her dream of writing fiction. Midway through law school, she faced the fact that she really did not want to be a lawyer. She took a permanent leave of absence, came home to the Washington, D.C. area, and sat down to type her first novel.
Well, not exactly.
She did come home and write, but mostly she wrote regulations for the United States government’s school nutrition programs. (Ketchup as a vegetable, anyone?) When her law school sweetheart graduated, he moved to D.C. and they got married. A couple years later, the first of their four sons was born, and Sally “retired” to manage their family. She wrote a story or two and some picture book texts, all now stored away in a filing cabinet, but she spent most of her energies on baby tending which rapidly evolved into carpool driving. She became an extremely skilled scheduler, getting all four boys to soccer, basketball, baseball, track, swimming, piano, scouts, and birthday parties without ever losing one. (Okay, she did lose the youngest for a few minutes, but she found him before he’d toddled into the parking lot.) And she did more writing--school newsletters, auction programs, class plays, swim league guidance, and the acclaimed annual MacKenzie family newsletter--but no fiction.
Finally, the boys started driving (Eek!) and leaving for college. The nest was emptying and she wasn't getting any younger. The time had come to chase the dream or let it go for good, so she sat down at the computer and wrote. And rewrote. And rewrote again until she had a polished manuscript. She joined the Romance Writers of America, and when the plea went out for Regency manuscripts for the 2004 Golden Heart contest, she sent in The Naked Duke. The stars aligned. She made the final round, and one of the judging editors liked the manuscript and offered to buy it.
When not writing or obsessing over the various mysteries of book promotion, Sally can be found at the gym working hard to age gracefully, at the pool on the SLOW side of the Masters swim practice, or at one meeting or another volunteering at the helm of the summer swim league.
Here's Sally with her family--she's 5 ft. 8 in. tall, but she's short in this crowd.