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About seven years ago, I encountered the Rivers. They are the fictional family in my humorous adventure series. They are a rowdy, loyal, sometimes annoying pack of brothers that simply will not turn me loose. Writing their story, along with that of the Caswell Crossing community, has become my passion. I cannot wait to see what sort of calamity my boys get into. I never know, you see, until I start to write. And then, there they are, gabbling away at me whilst I scribble madly to keep up. Maybe it's true: if you love what you do, you will never work a day.
Q: Tell us some of the 'nuts and bolts'.
A: Ah, so you'd be wanting to know about 'Volume 1: The Early Years' then? Sorry, no. I try not to make the eyes of innocent bystanders glaze over before we're properly introduced. Here's a few resume type facts though for the curious.
-Tech Cert American Sign Language Interpreting
-B.A. Studio Art
- moved roughly 30 times in 40 years (and I'm not in the military)
-Work: Well, there have been a few but the most unusual were hand loading commercial aircraft and training to be a wildland firefighter.
Q: Where do you like the best?
A: Anywhere that's wide open, far off, and kind of lonely. Lonely to others I mean. All that space and room to breath is shear comfort to me.
Q: What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
A: The cacophony in my head. Really. It's a very noisy place in there. Ever tried thinking coherently with 6 rowdy brothers, a father, and an uncle by adoption all clamoring for your attention? It's like a family reunion around a campfire with the s'mores going for a fifth round.
Q: What is your writing process?
A: Process? Oh wow, that sounds so organized. What I do more closely resembles picking daisies in the middle of a stampede during a thunderstorm. Images, words, lines of dialogue, flashes of scenes come to me as they please and laugh hysterically as I grasp at pencils and tippy-tap at keyboards trying, frantically, to keep up.
Q: Describe your desk:
A: Ummm.....desk? Lately, I have a tree. Sometimes a floor. Occasionally a table shows up for a visit. Mostly I have a wall-- an ever growing wall of clips, cuts, sketches, maps, character sheets, scene ideas, plot points and various other writing sundry. Painter's tape and index cards are my greatest allies (or possibly accomplices). If I did utilize such a thing as a desk, I suspect I would more often be found under it than 'at' it. I'm not very conventional about space. When the words are fizzing along my neurons, conventions like chairs and desks are utterly irrelevant.
Q: Are your books part of a series?
A: Yes indeedy. It is a reader friendly series so, though it does follow a timeline, the books could be read out of order. INDEBTED is the second in the Rivers Series. BETWEEN THE RIVERS is the first. CHICANERY is the third. GIDEON'S WAY is a quick peek into the series, but not actually attached to any spot on the timeline. Book four will see Gideon more in his own element, working undercover in an unlikely pair-up with a Texas ranger. No title for this one has jumped at me yet-- titles usually come calling after the dust has settled.
Q:How did you end up with such a deep love of written words?
A: It's a legacy handed down from my grandfather, to my mother, to me. I am honored and privileged to receive such an inheritance.
Q: Most people wouldn't expect someone with dyslexic tendencies to become an author. What is this like for you?
A: Colorful! That's the first thing that comes to mind. It's very, very colorful. Thinking in such a visual-spatial way is an incredible gift-- granted one that comes double edged, but a beautiful gift nonetheless. The Rivers stories come to me like scenes in a movie. All I have to do is roll the film and enjoy the show. I can freeze the frame and take a mental stroll through the scene seeing, hearing and touching as my characters would. It's rather like daydreaming on double-shot espresso. Honestly, I cannot imagine how I would go about writing without being visual-spatial, it's such an integral part of how I function. Rather than a mapped out, linear outline-- every aspect, every character trait, is linked one to another like a massive web. Shifting one junction naturally pulls on another; there are things that just 'feel' right or obvious to the plot or character development. The only downside is my creative spelling and tendency to write drafts in one long gully washer bereft of full stops, paragraphs, hard returns or commas. The red-marks on my typing blend quite nicely with the red marks that spring forth every time Gideon has any dialogue whatsoever, which can make editing a might tricky.
Q: What do you read for pleasure?
A: Terry Pratchett, Louis L'Amour, Artemis Fowl, Brother Cadfael, the Irish Country Doctor series by Patrick Taylor, and Henry V when I feel like a good sit-down with Mister Shakespeare. Oh, and whatever latest book my brother passes my way to sample, the most recent being 'Wool'.
Q: When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
A: My 'not-writing' time is spent being hounded by my characters. They have so much to say-- and absolutely no hesitation to do so.
I also run a publishing studio to help other people publish their uplifting, wholesome stories and memoirs. Usually the clients want a few copies for themselves and family. It is great fun seeing all the different ideas people have. The best part is seeing their excitement when their actual book shows up, spine, cover, text and all.
Q: Is there an author in your local area you would recommend?
A: If you enjoy cozy mysteries, try Cindy Sample's work. She is clean, funny and a smooth read. When doing a book signing, she packages up her mystery books in an evidence bag. Nice touch! Oh, and she is the friendliest person you will ever bump into over a bookshelf.