"I cannot remember a time when I wasn't driven to put
my thoughts down on paper. I attribute this love for writing to a creative God and to parents who love books and more particularly to a dad who majored in English and passed on a passion for writing.
I was born on January 9, 1961, in San Diego, California, and am the second of three daughters born to Bill and Judy Horning. I spent my childhood in just two houses; the first in San Diego itself, and the second in a suburb of San Diego called Poway.
My first writings are a laughable collection of oddly worded poems and predictable stories I wrote when I was eight. My second-grade teacher gave me the journal I in which I recorded these poems and stories. To my knowledge I was the only student in her class that she gave a journal to; she must have seen promise in me. At Poway High School, my freshman composition teacher, Mr. Frank Barone, found all kinds of ways to encourage me to develop my craft. Without telling me beforehand, he read the first composition I ever wrote for him aloud to the class. That's how much he liked it. I have never forgotten how it felt to hear him begin to read something to the entire class and realize it was something I had written.
I attended Point Loma College in San Diego, but married my husband, Bob, in 1980 and left college before I could graduate. I had been majoring in education, thinking I might like to teach kindergarten, but I would have been smarter to major in English with a concentration in writing. The advice I give now to anyone wondering what to major in is follow your heart and choose a path that you know you already enjoy.
I didn't do a lot of writing in the years my husband was on active duty in the Air Force, when we were living overseas, or when we were having children. Between 1985 and 1992, God blessed us with four wonderful kids: Stephanie, Joshua, Justin and Eric.
When we moved to rural Minnesota in 1993 after seven years in the Air Force — five of them spent in Europe — I became aware of a gnawing desire to write a novel. I ignored it while the children were young, choosing to try writing articles for magazines. Nothing ever got published however, so I began to think my best days as a writer had already happened in high school with Mr. Barone.
In 1995, I was offered a job as a part-time reporter for my county newspaper. The publisher gave me my own weekly column, which I still continue to write. In 1998, I was named editor of the Mountain Lake/Butterfield Observer Advocate, my town's small weekly paper, after the county newspaper purchased it. I was honored to win several awards over the years, but the best part of my four years as editor was having my paper named the Best Weekly Newspaper in Minnesota by the Minnesota Newspaper Association in 2002.
That year became a rather pivotal one for me as a writer. My beloved paternal grandfather died in July 2002 — my Papa — and his passing had a profound effect on me. I suddenly had an incredible urge to write a book; a novel. I knew I didn't want to come to the end of my life having only dreamed of writing one. I resigned as editor of the newspaper, which was a very hard decision to make, and set out to write Why the Sky is Blue. It took four months to write and ten months to be accepted by a publisher. I was thrilled to sign with Harvest House Publishers and to be among such gifted Harvest House authors as Stormie Omartian, Lori Wick and Emilie Barnes.
Currently, My husband is an associate pastor at a church in San Diego, California, and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves. When I'm not working on a new novel, I am directing the small groups ministries a The Church at Rancho Bernardo. I also enjoy teaching workshops on writing and dream-following, spending time with my family, music, reading great books, and traveling."