I really enjoy historical writing, both fiction and non-fiction. So some of my favorite authors include James Michener, Anna Lee Waldo, Herman Wouk, and Jean Auel. I also enjoy inspirational/motivational materials, so Kahlil Kibran, and Maya Angelou are on my shelf. Mitch Albom's books are fantastic for relaxing with a great story.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I work with a local group called "Buy Nothing Burien", part of the larger "Buy Nothing Project" based on Bainbridge Island, WA. Community connections and support through this group gets me running in the morning, and I thrive on coming up with new ideas and activities to help the group grow.
On a more personal level, my family and home are supremely dear to me. We are pursuing more and more a life of sustainability and independence with more gardening, self-supplying income, and community/neighborhood involvement, so there is always something to do as we press toward those goals.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend a great deal of time in our existing gardens and in tearing out grass to build more gardens! I also sew, crochet like a maniac, bake our bread, and love home improvement projects. Of course I enjoy reading, a treasured activity next to my Beloved each day as we wind down into the evening hours. I am also working toward establishing more community gardens within the Burien area where I live, and encouraging others to take up the torch. Whether growing vegetables, fruit trees, flowers, or a natural habitat suitable for small wildlife, our cities need more greenery and more locally available nature...I have made it one of my chief goals to share that vision with just about anyone who will listen.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I usually have an interest in mind, or something I need to research for a project I may be currently involved in. I also like to search out ebooks authored by folks I know in order to support their work.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I do! It was in fourth grade, and it was about a girl who traveled with her family to a remote location in Alaska because they were fed up with society and wanted to start a new life living off the land. :)
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I remember reading would be one of the Nancy Drew books in first grade. Yes, I was a very early reader because my mother taught me to read before I even entered kindergarten. It had a definite impact on me because enjoying the story taught me that I could experience a whole different life, a whole different person's perspective in the pages of a book that I could carry around with me. In the case of the Nancy Drew books, I knew that when I finished one story my Mom would get me the next one so i could continue the journey! Books became an exciting adventure to me, something to be thrilled about and enjoyed, so reading itself also became a joy. I never struggled like some younger folks do, with "having to read " something for school or for a research assignment. Reading was not drudgery to me and that alone shaped much of my later schooling and my ability to learn new information easily.
How do you approach cover design?
I simply decide what I think would grab someone's attention, while maintaining a connection to the point of what is in the book's pages. having a photo of a flower on the cover of a book about bread-baking makes no sense. But a well-used rolling pin next to a pile of flour with afternoon sunlight crossing the countertop and creating interesting shadows...now THAT would get my attention and make me expect that that book has something to do with home-baked bread.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Sacajawea, by Anna Lee Waldo... A Sorrow in our Heart: The Life of Tecumseh, by Allen W. Eckert The Scarlet Letter, by Nathanael Hawthorn Islands in the Stream, by Earnest Hemingway Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper
All of these books tell stories, some real and some fiction, of people whose lives were relatable to me. Their struggles, triumphs, losses, glories, are all common to the human soul. While some lived in tumultuous circumstances and others literally risked their lives for the good of others, the underlying examples of the power of the human spirit is uplifting and humbling at the same time. I love books that teach me something, that encourage me to strive harder and reach higher for good in the world around me as well as in my personal life. These five books top my list as having done that for me.
What do you read for pleasure?
Biographies, historical novels, and self-sufficiency materials are my favorites.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Usually my laptop. I giggle to myself that using my laptop computer is probably considered "oldschool" in this age of Kindles, Ipads, etc, but I still carry a paper notepad to the grocery store and prefer to use a three ring binder for project notes and organizational items so I guess I am pretty oldschool myself.
Describe your desk
My desk is a 63 year old solid maple student desk with two large drawers and two shallow drawers. It is not huge, actually it is small compared to a modern office desk. On it rest my laptop computer, a desk lamp, a tub holding pens, scissors, etc, a scotch tape dispenser, and a coaster for my ever-present mug full of either coffee or tea. It faces on eof the two windows in the spare room I have made my office, so I can look up and see out into the back yard surrounded by a jasmine tree, tall pines, and a laurel hedge along the perimeter.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing short stories and poems when I was eight years old.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I am indie in everything else I do, so authorship along this route seemed the natural way to go about getting my writing in front of an audience. I like things simple and to the point.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
That remains to be seen, but I have very high hopes. :)
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Sharing things I have learned, things that have been passed down to me from others who have gone before me, to younger people who might not have someone passing those things down to them is my greatest joy with writing. Now and then an inspirational story or short piece rolls out that I hope will encourage someone, and that too is a blessing to me. Any good thing I can share with someone else is meant to be a positive addition to their experience and if that happens even just once than I believe I am on the right track.
What do your fans mean to you?
Any "fans" I ever have will be my greatest inspiration because their support of my work will mean that I was able to give them something they found valuable. That is what it is all about for me...connecting, sharing experience and insight, seeing other people do the same and bless their own circles of people. Life is, to me, not just a series of linear touch points. Rather, it is a constantly expanding circle encompassing all who pass in and then out of it, linking it to their own circle. We are all connected, whether we know it or not, and we get to choose how that connection affects the others we meet. i want every connection to be a blessing to someone in some way, whether large or small.
What are you working on next?
A compilation of self-sufficiency pieces geared for suburbanites who want a more independent lifestyle.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.