At Home

At Home
When we lived in Godalming, a little village near Guildford in Surrey, I wrote the novel Sudan. I had to draw a map of the country free hand so all the distances my characters traveled would work out.

I would never write anything this trite as dialogue in a novel. But as it turns out, reality is cheesier than fiction.

Home really is where the heart is. Go ahead, groan. But it's true. Home isn't a place, it's a state of the soul.

Ask me where I live, and the honest truth is “somewhere in the sky over Greenland.”

In concrete terms, however, I have two homes. In England, my husband and I live in the village of Great Linford in Buckinghamshire about 45 minutes by train from Central London. In the U.S, we live in Louisville, Kentucky. I place that geographically for my international friends by explaining that it's right in the center of the U.S.; America has a heart and it beats in Kentucky.

Dealing with separation "going both ways" is a challenge. Skyping into the family Thanksgiving celebration from 5,000 miles away is a doubled-edged sword.

The problem is that the experience is only a computer screen deep. You watch the grandchildren eating drumsticks but you can't smell the turkey roasting. You see the kids put on caps and gloves to go for a walk but you can't go. And even if they took their IPad with them, you'd be stuck looking out its window, unable to feel the crisp autumn air on your cheeks. Then suddenly—poof—the connection breaks and the illusion vanishes with it. You're sitting in a cottage in England watching rain squiggle in little gray worms down the window while your family is on the other side of the planet celebrating without you.

It’s similar when we're in the U.S. except the geography is reversed. I listen to the Kentucky "twang" and yearn to hear the clipped British accents or the lilting voices of my Scottish and Irish friends. I want to call Alastair Bates in England, Craig Mawhinney in Northern Ireland or Nyree Chittick in Scotland and say, 'Talk to me! I don't care what you say. Just ... read me the assembly instructions for an Ikea bookshelf or something. I just want to hear your accent."


"Oh, and about the 9 and the e beside my name. Say it fast, emphasis on the 9. That’s how you pronounce my first name -9e. (Think “rhymes with tiny and shiny, NOT with skinny and penny.”)

Suspense Author

I have soooo many stories I want to tell you, so many worlds I want you to see, so many people I want you to meet. People in trouble, most of them. Big trouble they didn't ask for but there it is. Ordinary folks like you and me who are forced by circumstances to fight for their lives. And then, smack in the middle of their everyday worlds they encounter the unexplainable. It's always the game-changer.

Welcome to my world. If you'd like to know more about me, I'm easy. Click on Meet Ninie and you'll see. My life isn't really an open book; it's more of a pamphlet, and you are cordially invited to read it. I'd love to interact with you on Twitter, Facebook Fan page, and Goodreads. Or come visit with me at 9e's Kitchen Table, a Facebook group where readers and I hang out. I think you'd like it.