I've been writing since the age of five, when I wrote and illustrated my first literary masterpiece, Sue the Dog. This title is not meant to indicate that we're going to take legal action against the dog; the dog's name is Sue. I don't remember much about the book, except for one particularly enthralling scene where Sue becomes a ballerina.
Over the years I dabbled in poetry and fantasy stories, none of which you'll ever see in print. And if you do, I'll really be embarrassed.
I was taught at home by my parents, Joel W. Norton and Ruthe Clark. After I graduated from high school, I took two correspondence courses from Brigham Young University in creative writing, and also a course in floral design from International Correspondence Schools. After that, I took a job working at a floral shop, which I loved.
In 1994 at the tender age of 18, I met then 34-year-old Matt Pinkston of Eugene, Oregon. We were engaged on our tenth date. This consequently sent my parents into shock. After we revived them, we were married in the Salt Lake Temple on August 31, 1995. I was 19 by that time, which as we all know is so much older than 18.
We moved to Springville and started our family with a beautiful baby girl we named Caryn Camille, born in 1996. She is a very sweet and faithful little girl, always quick to remind us what Jesus would have us do, which is frustrating when I'm on one of my sinful jags.
We moved to Pleasant Grove in 1998 and added Ammon Josiah to our family, a baby son with chocolate eyes. He has a razor sharp mind and spends most of his time inventing gadgets and twisting wires together. I have my concerns about that but it's already been proven that he has guardian angels, so I'm trusting them to keep an eye on him.
When Ammon was about 8 months old, I had a strange dream which piqued my interest in World War II. As I hit the Internet and did research at the library, the story of Nothing to Regret came to life. You can see the FAQ's page for more information about that.
In 2001, Joseph Erin came into our family with blond curls and blue eyes. He is the oasis in our family. Whenever things get a little crazy, and they do, we pick him up and cuddle him (or, as he says, "nuggle") and things come back into focus for us.
And in November of 2004, Benjamin Matthew joined our family. He had black hair when he was born, but that's lightening up. His eyes are dark brown, just like Ammon's. His coloring is quite a contrast to his brother Joseph's! He is a sweet toddler baby who loves to give hugs and kisses. His current hobby is drawing tiny little circles on paper, on walls, on counters, on cupboards . . . Four kids definitely keep me busy.
The week after Benjamin joined our family, my second book Strength to Endure was released, written about World War II from the perspective of a German family. It was quite a kick to have a baby boy and a baby book at the same time. Many people have asked me which book I like better, Nothing to Regret or Strength to Endure. I can't even answer that. They're both a part of me and they both represent who I was at the time I wrote them. Let's just say, I like them both the same amount, only in different ways.
In October of 2006, we purchased a trailer home in Orem and said goodbye to Pleasant Grove and the friends we made there. That was a bittersweet farewell, but we are now proud owners of not only a house, but of Orem City Library cards. That sort of takes the sting out.
I'm a stay at home mom and a homeschooler. I spend lots of time ignoring my dirty house and hiding laundry in weird places. I specialize in moving things from one place to another, and then back again. I love Flylady's housework routines (visit www.flylady.net) and I sometimes even do them. In my spare time, you know, those hours most people waste with sleep, I'm a writer. I love to do research and make my novels as realistic as possible, helping my readers to understand nuances of history that escape the textbooks.
In addition to the novels I write, I maintain a blog which contains tips for aspiring authors and also my own personal ramblings, which sometimes make sense and sometimes do not. I also write book reviews for Families.com. It's a fabulous job — I get to read books and talk about them, two of my favorite things.
I was just called to serve as the Wolf Leader in my ward. Scouting is something I've never done before but I'm looking forward to the new experiences. I enjoy reading, watching good movies, and scrapbooking. I like trying new recipes (even though my kids won't eat them and would much rather have ramen noodles), spending time with my kids, and taking Sunday afternoon naps, which are so necessary. I also enjoy chocolate just a little more than I really should.