I lived most of my childhood on the move, following my career Navy father around, except for three pivotal years in Oklahoma where my father’s family lived. After marriage and three kids, I went back to college and received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City where I spent many years as an administrator, mostly running the UMKC Women’s Center. That job gave me many great pleasures, including serving on the planning committee and as co-convenor of one of the critical area caucuses at Women 2000: Beijing Plus Five at the United Nations.
Health problems eventually forced me out of the university and opened the door to writing full-time. I published two books of poetry, had two poems read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac, and won some awards. I also published a cookbook. I took a deep breath and jumped into the fiction pond. My novel, Every Last Secret, won the St. Martin’s Press/Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition and its sequels, Every Broken Trust and Every Hidden Fear, were published by St. Martin's Press. They earned some wonderful praise.
When I started writing this series, I wanted to explore Skeet Bannion’s character. She, like so many of us, is a good person still tangled up in family issues from her childhood. I wanted to spend more time with her and with my invented town of Brewster, Missouri, which partakes of so many Kansas and Missouri small towns I’ve known. I love mysteries set in small communities where the detective is a real part of the whole community. With Skeet, I have that—and yet, she’s not quite completely a part of it since she always holds a bit of herself back. I don’t know if Skeet will ever get over that. I’ll have to write it to see.
I have also published a book on writing, Plotting the Character-Driven Novel, and a new book of poetry, Dark Sister, as well as two highly regarded anthologies of poetry, Woven Voices: 3 Puertorriquena Poets Look at Their American Lives and. The World Is One Place: Native American Poets Visit the Middle East. My short story, “The Good Neighbor,” published in the anthology, Kansas City Noir, has been optioned for film.
You can find my books here.
I enjoy knitting lace shawls, spinning alpaca and wool, weaving tapestries, and gardening with herbs and native plants when I’m not writing, always my first love. I am past chair of the AWP Indigenous Writer’s Caucus, past president of Border Crimes chapter of Sisters in Crime, founding board member of Latino Writers Collective and The Writers Place, and a member of International Thriller Writers, Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers, and Kansas City Cherokee Community. Visit me at http://lindarodriguezwrites.blogspot.com