Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up all over the world. Being a Military Brat, a Berlin Brat at that, taught me how to move in and out of society, accept people as they were, and to count everyone around you as a potential friend for life. When you move every 3 years, you learn that friends you want to hang on to, you have to stay in touch with. Growing up in the military gave me a gift of being able to write about anyone of any race, and make them real to a reader. I don't apologize for my characters, they are often someone you want to punch in the face one minute, and hug and cry with the next!
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing in High School. I had an English Teacher named Mrs. Payne, who was phenomenal! She just passed away this summer, and she will be missed by so many of us! She gave my writing wings! I lived in West Berlin, and this was during the Cold War. It was great, because there was so much subject matter around us. I wrote my first novel during summer break of my sophomore year, it was about 350 pages typed, and was about gangs in Albuquerque, New Mexico, somewhere else we were stationed. I had a cake job, where I had to call and make sure the other kids were at work, then my time was my own! Thanks, Mr. Kelker!
What's the story behind your latest book?
I have 2 latest books. Taming the Feral KittyCat came about from a conversation where we got into a male versus female debate around the table after Christmas Dinner, in 2012! Men sure look at women different today! And we women looked at the devastation 'Feral KittyCats' are doing, and we realized that we needed to have a book that spoke to men in a way they understood, so we wouldn't have to keep being subjected to their dirty laundry, some of the situations they get caught in are just plain stupid! So, This book was written to give men a heads up, that the woman they are after could only be after that wallet of theirs, for them to look at their potential, and put that Bitch on a budget! The Josef and Blair Series is finally complete! I just released Book 1 and Book 5, as Book 1 was being held in limbo over who had what rights, for the past 10 plus years. Be careful what you sign, EBooks weren't out then, but it still didn't matter! It is a series on how you can't help who you fall in love with sometimes, and that God always has a way to get you back on track, He is there for the worst of us, as well as the best of us, everyone has a chance to come to Him as they are!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Control. Plain and simple. I wanted to have the rights to do what I wanted to do with my stories. I write because I love telling stories. I don't know how to market, how to interview, etc., but I have a story to tell. I write for me. Be careful what you sign to get what you want at the moment.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords allows me to have control over my writing. I can create, and remove if I am not satisfied with something I write. I have a completed Series, the Peace Series, that I removed, 4 books in because I was not satisfied with the writing so far. If I had been involved with a publisher, that would have just been too bad. I like having control of my writing. In addition, knowing my book is going out to other publishers increases the possibility that people that might not come across my books ordinarily, may come into contact with them!
What do your fans mean to you?
They mean more than a book sold. I value their feedback, and wish more of them would leave it after reading. It honors me that someone would not just take the time to read something I wrote, but that it would make them relate to the characters, even if they are bad! A reader contacted me about the Peace Series, hoping that the main character would "GET HIS" by the end of the Series, even though I pulled the series off the site. I owe her book 5, and have asked her to help me figure out a way to get it to her ALONE. No one else asked, so she gets it. The Book 5 in the Peace Series is finished, I just don't want to release that series after all, but if she has read 1-4, she doesn't have to suffer.
What are you working on next?
The Pharaoh Memnet Series will end with Book 5, "Ramesses: Obsidian Heart", to be released before year's end. A new Series, 'The Sleeping Lizard', which is a Spy Thriller about 13 operatives raised from childhood to carry out hits sanctioned to the highest bidder from every country in the world! Funny how no one ever allows for human nature when it comes to world domination! And another Series, 'Avenging Angel', about a group of friends with high IQ's but whose outsides place them low on the totem pole of society, they grow up to be the Avenging Angels. And lastly, hopefully by New Years, "How to Spay That Dog!" will be released, as a helper book for women, a response to the heat I have been under for hipping men to the games women play!
What is your writing process?
I keep a notebook by my bed and jot down my dreams, thoughts, observations, etc. I go over them occasionally, and sometimes find something that makes me go, "Hmmm..." I talk my books into the computer. I can't type without it causing severe pain in my hands, wrists, etc. Carpel Tunnel issues. So, I talk, and it converts to text, and voila! I also use Dragon Dictation on my Iphone if something just wont wait, and it emails it to me, cut, paste, voila! I love modern technology.
When I get stuck...everyone gets stuck...I get the IPod, or load up ITunes, and tell it to randomize a playlist, and before you know it, I am just talking away again..."Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba, Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba, BABY! Don't Forget My Number!" may show up in my text, but that's the price for great writing!
How do you approach cover design?
I can usually see what I want the cover to look like in my head. Bringing that to life is another story! I look for pictures that are free, pictures I have taken on my travels, pictures from friends on their travels, or really old art in the public domain. I fool around in Powerpoint with the pictures, and text, and can usually get what I want. I would like you to think I go to some fancy smanchy place and get them done, but I am too old school for that! I like clean, crisp text, with some gradient or pattern, text to suit the book, and lots of red, white and blue, if I can swing that!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Genesis, Exodus, Isaiah, The Gospels and Revelation. I think you know why.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.