I grew up in rural Brown County, Indiana, the seventh of nine children. My father was a Mennonite minister. Several of my books reflect my experience of being raised in the Mennonite tradition.
I lived most of my adult life in Goshen, Indiana. I’ve always loved to write, and in my young adult years, I had several stories published in magazines. However, other activities took precedence over my writing: raising my three children, going to college and graduate school, completing training in therapeutic massage and energy healing, and maintaining dual careers in clinical social work and massage therapy.
I’ve been a life-long spiritual seeker, and have explored a number of spiritual traditions. While studying Vedantic scripture in the early 2000s, I was inspired to write three children’s books, which were published by the Sambodh Society, Inc. They are listed under "Other Works" on this website.
In 2006, my husband and I moved from Goshen to Saint Joseph, Michigan, where I continued my employment as a clinical social worker. Then, in 2010, my life changed abruptly. I was struck by a car as a pedestrian, and sustained a traumatic brain injury. The accident left me unable to continue my career.
Since then, I’ve had all the time in the world to write the novels I've always dreamed of writing. But injury-related challenges have made that task extremely difficult. Damage to my brain has left me with a condition called post-traumatic vision syndrome, which limits my stamina for reading and writing. Additionally, my injured brain is easily overtaxed, and will tolerate only so much hard work before my cognitive processes shut down.
Thus, my daily writing time is short, and I must use special accommodations. I have a window of opportunity to write each morning, when my eyes and brain are refreshed after sleep. That time is precious to me.
However, whatever story I’m working on is always in my head, keeping me company throughout the day. I keep a stack of scrap paper handy so that I can jot down the creative inspirations that pop into my mind. I incorporate these notes into future writing sessions.
My son C. Zane Shetler has illustrated two of my children’s books, and has provided cover art for three of my novels. My husband A. R. Thomas completes the formatting and publishing tasks that my vision challenges prevent me from doing.
In addition to writing, I enjoy raising flowers, collecting angels, and creating a peaceful ambiance in my home and gardens.