Born in Washington, D.C., and the oldest of five children, P.J. O’Dwyer was labeled the storyteller of the family and often accused of embellishing the truth. Her excuse? It made for a more interesting story. The proof was the laughter she received following her version of events.
After graduating high school, the faint urgings of her imaginative voice that said “you should write” were ignored. She opted to travel the world instead. Landing a job in the affluent business district of Bethesda, Maryland, as a travel counselor, she traveled frequently to such places as Hawaii, Bahamas, Paris, New Orleans, the Alaskan Inland Passsage, and the Caribbean Islands.
Today, P.J. lives in western Howard County, Maryland, with her husband Mark, teenage daughter Katie, and their cat Scoot and German Shepherd FeFe in a farmhouse they built in 1998.
P.J.’s learning it takes a village to create a writer and relieved to know she’s not in this alone. She’s an active member of Romance Writers of America. Also participates in a critique group, which has been an invaluable experience with many friendships made and an abundance of helpful praise, and, yes, criticism. But it’s all good. Improving her craft is an ongoing process. She reads her favorite authors in her genre, such as Karen Robards, Sandra Brown, and Karen Rose to name a few.
While creating that next complex character or never-saw-it-coming plot twist is thrilling, P. J. finds teaching the craft as an adjunct college professor the most rewarding. She’s always eager to share her journey in the publishing world in hopes of inspiring her students to realize their own dreams of becoming a published author.
Writing is a passion that runs a close second to her family. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, fits in her daily run with her husband Mark, and tries heroically to keep up with her daughter Katie’s social life. Who knew how demanding the life of a teenager could be, especially for Mom?
When asked where she gets her ideas for her stories, she laughs ruefully and says, “It helps being married to a cop.” Actually, she admits, “Every day I find a wealth of possible stories and plots in the most unsuspecting place—my daily life.”