My all time favorite has to be Barbara Michaels. I've read everything she's written. In her books I found humor, mystery, suspense, and even a touch of the paranormal. In one of my books, "Legend in Buckskin," I kept thinking of her. Of course I couldn't touch her style any more than she could touch mine, but she kept coming to mind anyway.
Sandra Brown delivers a really good story, often exceptional reads. Karen Robards is also good, as is Tami Hoag, Nora Roberts. The list is endless. The best book I ever read, however, is not by one of my favorite authors, yet it continues to stand out in my mind. I even read it more than once and will most likely read it again: "The Stand" by Stephen King, a classic good vs evil story with deeply developed and interesting characters that stay with a reader long after the book is read.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Oh, yes, quite well. That particular one will never see publication however because I wrote scenes as they occurred to me, and what I ended up with was too episodic. One of the characters actually changed character as the book progressed (believe me, I use the word progressed quite loosely here).
After that disaster, I wouldn't allow myself to ever jump ahead and write a scene or character. Page one precedes page two; scene one precedes scene two; and chapter one precedes chapter two. No exceptions!
What do you read for pleasure?
For pleasure, I read the same kind of story I like to write: romantic suspense, mystery, and I really enjoy humor mixed in with the genre. Any genre. I don't care for explicit sex, violence, gore...yet you might find me reading just such a book anyway. If the writer is good enough to hold me, I'll read past what I don't like and stay with the story.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle, the most basic one. Funny, but I resisted an ereader for years, even tho my sister told me I'd love it if I ever got one. Then when I started uploading my own books in ebook format, I thought I should see what the readers were getting so I bought my kindle...and I love it! Absolutely love it.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Northern California within walking distance of the mighty Pacific, and I have often set a story near the ocean. Sometimes, as in "Family Skeletons," it plays an important role in the plot.
When did you first start writing?
I'm a late bloomer. I was in my forties when I started writing, finally got the attention of an agent when I was nearing sixty, and then it still took years before that first book was sold. But late in life or not, it's great. I'm not complaining.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Print publishers have minimum and maximum word counts, and I had stories that didn't meet their criteria. Yet I still liked those stories...so I went the way of ebooks. It's much faster publication, almost instant gratification, and I'm very pleased with the results.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Sharing my work. There is no greater joy--as far as writing goes--than hearing from a complete stranger that he/she liked my work. Often I give one of my books (hardback format) away as a gift to someone who does a service for me. Recently I'd given a copy of "Second Thoughts" to a massage therapist, and she called a few days later to tell me she'd enjoyed it so much she'd ordered every one of my books. That's fantastic!
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