THIS IS ALSO ON THE ETERNAL NIGHT UK
So, how did you begin writing and what got you over the threshold from amateur to pro?
As long as I can remember I have said to people that one day I am going to write a book, but life sometimes had other plans for you. I married young and raised my family all while working at a full time job. When I turned 50 I retired and decided that I would spend this time of my life fulfilling my passion. Going from amateur to pro involves a lot of rejections for almost every writer. I have a file filled with them from the best houses in New York. Whiskey Creek Press took a chance on me and I now have 5 books published. My newest release, SOUL SAVERS made its debut March 1st.
2. Do you write full time or do you have another career as well? Like I said, I am retired. I write when I feel like it. Mostly during the day when I am alone, but I have been known to get up at three in the morning and start pounding the keys because an idea just won’t leave my head.
3. Do you write under any other names? No. I use my maiden name. The reason for that is because for all of my adult life I have been a part of someone else. A husband or child or family member. I use my maiden name because my writing is mine alone and I choose not to share it with either of the two husbands I had in the past. I am happily single now, and although I do use my last husbands name in real life, I want to write with the name I was born with. If that is very selfish, then so be it, but it makes my brothers who carry the same name very happy.
4. Do you think that the internet has helped the literary industry or hurt it? The internet has been a huge help to writers because it has given many good writers the opportunity to see their work published. I do believe there is some harm in most of the internet, but the value outweighs the harm.
5. Urban fantasy and paranormal romance are considered new genres, would you define your writing as being one or the other or a bit of both? Two of my books are paranormal. AMAYA’S KEEP and my new release, SOUL SAVERS, have a ghost as a big part of the story. I like my ghost books and am very proud of them. I like that you separated fantasy from paranormal because fantasy is such a broad spectrum of genres. I have tried to make up worlds to build fantasy and cannot, so I give all who can credit for their imagination.
6. What do you like to read for fun? Believe it or not, I prefer Agatha Christie types of mystery. I also love Nora Roberts and a thousand other authors.
7. What inspires you? Anything and everything. A person walking down the street, a snippet of someone’s conversation or a blue moon. I don’t believe any author can tell you what inspires a thought to pop in their head until it does and you say, oh ya, I remember taking about that or hearing about that…
8. Do you believe in ghosts? I think I do. I have had a few experiences I couldn’t explain, but do I have proof that they exist, no I don’t. I am a realist. I believe in what I know, and wish to believe in what I wish were true.
9. If you do, have you ever met one? No. When I first moved to Phoenix in 1980 my husband and I rented a house that my brother had lived in when he tragically drowned in Lake Pleasant. At the time I worked in an office and wore the very fashionable strappy high heeled sandals to work. I would come home and slip then off and toss in the closet. The amazing thing is that each and every day I lived in that house I never had a pair of shoes that were buckled up as I had pulled them off, but a closet full of unbuckled high heeled sandals. Each evening I would pull a pair off without unbuckling and each morning I had to re-buckle. I attributed this to the ghost of my brother Alvin. He was such a sweet soul.
I also lived in the house of my parents years ago and slept in the bedroom my mother died in. I often could smell her and feel her presence. To this day I feel her presence even though I am 1600 miles away from home and she has been gone for 48 years.
10. Out of all your books, do you have a favorite character or scene? I love both Amaya and Tyler from Amaya’s Keep, and I have favorite passages and characters in all my books for different reasons and too many to write down. I think in SOULS SAVERS, when Rae gets excited and drops her dinner fork to have it tangle in her hair, and she pulls it out in front of the man she barely knows as if it were the most normal thing in the world, is great. It is a bit of realism in a book filled with finding and saving a ghost to send on to eternity after fifty years of being trapped on earth.
11. Can you re-read your own writing or does the thought make you cringe? I've heard some actors never watch themselves, so I imagine some authors try to avoid reading themselves. I have to read my own writing because of the editing process. I read it and then I read again as many times as it takes with my editor. I then read the finished product several times finishing with the first print copy looking for errors. I love my books, but I don’t want to read any book that many times. Reading for corrections and errors takes away from the thrill of the story. Have I read my own books since they were published? I have to admit I have not.
12. Does your work have a soundtrack? Do you use photos or figures or anything to help you envision the characters? No. I don’t use a soundtrack. The character of Linda and Lou in two of my books is my sister and I wrote her that way because she always said I should write a book about her. My other characters are how I see them in my head. I picture what I like about this man or woman and write it down on a piece of paper with a pencil and keep it by my computer so I can add to, change or follow as the story goes.
13. What has writing taught you? I have learned more about writing than I ever thought was possible. I have had a wonderful editor to work with, Chere Gruver. The most important thing I have learned is that if you want to do something, you just have to go do it. All my life I never dreamed I would write that book I talked about so often, but, by golly, I did, and so many more.
14. What will your next release be? I am pondering on that very subject every day. I want to write something strong and meaningful to me, but not sure where to go. I might try a mystery, if I have the talent to pull it off with all the twists and turns and red herrings, or I am considering a story about an older couple and their life together. We shall see. I do have one book completed, Genetic Perfection, but it needs some work and I’m not sure it’s strong enough at this point.
15. Would you ever want to write in another genre? I would love to do that mystery and I would also like to do a time travel and a reincarnation. I have also considered a polygamy book in reverse, with a woman having more than one husband.
16. What is one piece of wisdom, advice, or just thought for the day you'd like to pass on to readers?
Take time for yourself. If you want to write, write, if you love to read, take the time to read a book. Life is too short to spend it without giving yourself a little pleasure along the way.