At about 14. I attending Edgar A. Poe middle school in Annandale, VA (1978). The poet became my muse. His portrait hung in the auditorium/cafeteria and every school day I would gaze upon it. We had a copy of his poetry and short tales at home, as well as Grimms Fairy Tales. My favorites of Poe are of course The Raven, Annabell Lee, The Tell Tale Heart and The Black Cat. I like horror and the macabre. At a young age I also began to read Stephen King.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1) Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice - I was touched by the feeling and emotion from the main character (Louie) who was once mortal to a life of vampiric immortality, where his survival depends on blood, which he detests, and of his lingering mortal link. His journey from a new born, to a life with the aristocrat Lestat, to his beloved Claudia and her tragedy, to alluring Armand and finally the vast void. 2) JAWS by Peter Benchley - Intense! What could instill immense fear than that of a 25 foot man eating Great White shark that roams the shores of Amity and could easily swallow a man whole. At the time, my family would venture to Ocean City, MD for the summers and all I could think about is what may lie underneath the water. 3) Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - I am in awe. Incredible creative thought, utilizing history and molding it into fictional fantasy. An epic scale of creatures, mankind, realms, battles ... all ending in the destruction of one ring that could rule all. 4) Miracle in the Andes by Nando Parrado - This book inspires me. I read Alive back in 1978 which fulfilled my macabre side of my teenage brain at the time. Then in 1992 saw the movie Alive and gave me a different outlook as I matured and began writing a poem of the disaster but was unable to finish it. I didn't have all the tools. In the Millennium, I researched the story again and caught a few documentaries of the story and then this year finally read Miracle in the Andes. Written from a survivor's view, 1st hand account, whom also was one of two who breached the Andes. His account was not of the exhausting horrifying detailed story as in the 1973 version, but yet one of spiritualism. He did describe similar details, but added emotion, and the fact that what was is driven force to walk out of the mountains was LOVE. 5) Count of Monbte Cristo - My favorite revenge story.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I believe the first story I remember reading was The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. As well as seeing the Walt Disney animated version around the same time. It was a chilling story. What made it more of an impact is when my family moved to a community called Sleepy Hollow in Falls Church, Va. We lived on Crane Drive and I also attended Sleepy Hollow Elementary. There was always a sense of All Hallows Eve to that place and time.
Describe your desk
* Many, many reference books such as: Latin/English Dictionary, Classics, Old Book on Ships, The Art of a Catapult, Freemasonry, History of the Middle Ages, Battles of the Medieval World, Weaponry and Warfare, Medieval Knights, Encyclopedia of World History. * My laptop, complete with microphone, earbuds, head set, and speakers. Also WiFi printer. * Pens, pencils, markers (Sharpies), tape, stapler, push pins, candles, book marks, flags, post its. * Quill, Ink, sealing wax
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
To express my creativity, in-twining history with fiction.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I lived in Quechee, Vermont till I was about 10 yrs old. Rural living gave me the idea for my 1st self-publishing opus, White Holly. As well as Christmas time in the snow and tales of Ole St. Nick, the victorian version. My sister and I walked to school along a long road, up an embankment and through a graveyard to arrive to our small elementary school. A babysitter we had then, use to do tombstone rubbings at the graveyard next to our school. Upon entering my teen years, our family had moved to Falls Church, Virginia to a community called Sleepy Hollow. Our street address was Crane Drive. And the elementary school my sister and I attended for one year was called Sleepy Hollow Elementary. We then moved to Annandale, Virginia where I attended Edgar A. Poe Middle school. The poet became my inspiration as I grew with writing creativity.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My next opus, I hope to publish soon entitled Boenicinarian ... is about an 1100 yr old Avenging Lady Phopyragon Knight. What is a Phopryagon you ask? I created the word/creature. She is a combination of 3 mythical creatures, Phoenix, Vampyr, Dragon. A high percentage of her linage is a Vampyr.
Who are your favorite authors?
J.R.R. Tolkien, Anne Rice, Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar A. Poe, C.S. Lewis
What do you read for pleasure?
I use to read quite a bit of Horror fiction. I keep my reading to magazines for pleasure and historical research for giving me my muse for my craft.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I own a Nook.
What do your fans mean to you?
I like to captivate an audience. Bring a smile to their face. Give them a chill and keep the story tantalizing to bring them back for more.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
A breath of fresh air for starters. In the last 6 months (since April 2017) I received a "No evidence of cancer" from my Oncologist. I was diagnosed with Tonsil (to keep the medical name short) cancer in late 2012. Under went extreme Radiation and Chemo treatment over the next few years. I was in stage Iv. In November 2015, I was told the treatment was no longer working. Devastating news, I began to prepare. Then a month later upon another exam, I was told I was in Remission. I never really believed in miracles (spiritatual, not religious) but perhaps they do exist. As a survivor of cancer, my outlook on life has changed to some degree. For some time I didn't think I would continue my writing. But the recent news gave me hope and inspired me that much more to continue my craft.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Attending to and playing with my animals. I have 5 ferrets (Meeka, Tigger, Snowberry, Tikatu and Oscar) and a Dog (a rescue) named Benji, whom I inherited from my mom after she passed away in June of 2016. Also, catch a movie, read, walk in a park, enjoy cooking and working on projects.
What is your writing process?
I'm kinda all over the place with a process. Sometimes the title of a poem, short story or novelette comes to me and sometimes a story start as I call it.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had read many times that sending a draft to a publisher can be daunting in the way of possibly not ever getting published. After reading about self-publishing authors and taking a class of one, I could see the possible sucess of the process.
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