Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My earliest childhood was in Ohio, where my paternal ancestors were among the first settlers. I am the oldest in a large family, and my experiences were both traumatic and adventurous. I lived with different relatives, and went to schools in five states. I was writing stories as young as ten years old, and still have some of those.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Being able to get out of bed, with my husband's help. I had a brain bleed in 2004, am paralyzed in a wheelchair, and I can remember how it felt that first day after the stroke. Most hemorrhagic strokes are fatal. I am thrilled to have survived!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing, for me, is to please the reader. In "Call Me... Velvette," it was to tantalize the senses in multiple layers, weaving between reality and fantasy.
What do your fans mean to you?
My sincere gratitude goes to my fans! Without an audience, the storyteller's words fall silent. An audience who applauds the performance, will tell their friends about "Call Me... Velvette."
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Laughing! Yes, it was a version of "Man from U.N.C.L.E." with David McCallum's character as the "leading man." I think I was in fourth or fifth grade.
What is your writing process?
Since I am paralyzed on the left, I can only use one hand to type. I keep everything in separate files and folders, for organizing. I create and write, and save. Luckily, I'm an English major, with a keen eye for spelling errors.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. "When the Bough Breaks" by Jonathon Kellerman. This psychological thriller is just one of his books I've read; it's a 7-year old, the detective, and the psychologist whose relationships revolve around solving a murder. 2. "If I Were King" by Justin Huntly McCarthy. I bought this at an antique store, because the book was "calling" to me. I loved it. 3. "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott. I related to "Jo" and to the entire family. I also read "Little Men." 4. "The Story of My Life" by Helen Keller. Helen overcame so many obstacles to succeed. I read this in elementary school. 5. "Flowers in the Attic" by V.C. Andrews. The plight of the children in this story was heart wrenching, and I could relate to their unfortunate circumstances.
Describe your desk
My desk is simple. I write in my bedroom, on a slanted writer's desk with wheels. It holds my laptop, and my cup of coffee. Nothing else.
Are your characters real or fantasy?
This question is tricky. Maybe I should have put a disclaimer in the book! No one is a "real" person, alive or deceased. However, the experiences of the characters are based on their reality, dreams and fantasies.
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