I'm glad you stopped by my web site. I can use a break, and one of my favorite things to do is chat with other book lovers. coffeeI have loved reading since I first picked up a book and managed to hold it right-side-up. I used to sneak away with Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock magazines Dad brought home from the drugstore and read them at night with a flashlight. I enjoy the kind of book I just can't put down: a traditional mystery with a puzzle that's got me stumped, a fast-moving suspense story that keeps me up way too late, or a thriller that makes me forget to breath between pages. You do, too, or you wouldn't be here sharing a cup of cyber-coffee with me.

I've dreamed of being a writer since I was a child, but there always seemed to be something in my way, like college, marriage, career, and parenthood. Finally the inner voice screamed so loudly that it was heard over the din of living. I just had to write about the characters and stories that were so vivid in my mind. It's been years since that decisive moment, and I'm fulfilling my dream. There are five books in the PJ Gray series: Gray Matter, Fire Cracker, Chameleon, Act of Betrayal (written as Morgan Avery), and the latest, Time of Death. I've also written a standalone, Burning Rose.

Writing as Dakota Banks, I'm working now on a series of paranormal thrillers. You can learn more about those books at http://www.dakota-banks.com.

I wish I could convey what a thrill it was see my first book on the store shelf. Even now, I can hardly believe it when I walk into a store and see my titles there. The one in the middle isn't mine. My family has been a wonderful source of support to me. My husband Dennis has encouraged me and supported my decision to change careers, and believe me, it hasn't been easy for him! Our sons Thomas and Timothy are very proud to have an author in the family. They're in college now, but I've always loved this picture of them. The one in the middle isn't mine!

It's been great to find out that there's a community of writers I can turn to for support, online and in person. As I climb the ladder of my writing career, I have been given a hand up by established authors. In return, I offer my hand to those coming along behind me. Through my involvement in International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Horror Writers of America, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America,and the American Crime Writers' League, I've come in contact with amazingly supportive and talented groups. Receiving fan email has been a delightful surprise, and I answer each one personally. All of these things buoy me up on days when the words won't come, or the words that do come aren't good enough.Penny Cat

Thanks for visiting, and feel free to stay awhile. If you have a seat, one of my cats will be joining you shortly. This one is the inspiration for PJ Gray's cat Megabite, although she comes from a shelter, not from a murder victim's apartment. Come back again soon, and I'll put on a fresh pot of coffee. Or if you'd prefer, I can get you a cup of green tea.

Shirley Kennett
aka Dakota Banks

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