My greatest joy in writing is in exploring the characters and where they will lead me. I love developing characters and placing them in a scene together to see how they will behave and react to each other. I also love to place them in interesting places or situations and watching to see if they follow expected patterns or if I can make them take a different turn.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are everything! Without fans there is no audience. Without an audience, I am writing in a vacuum and might as well be keeping a journal for my own benefit. Delighting and surprising the fans is the biggest reward for my writing.
What are you working on next?
I have been working on an historical novel set in the late 1700s. I did extensive research on the period and the setting, and have known and loved the characters for a long time. I am excited to get it wrapped up and hope to have it ready to publish sometime in the next year.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have an exhaustive list of favorite authors. I think my first favorite was Agatha Christie. I loved her style and the drawing room mystery style she used. My current favorites are Diane Mott Davidson, J.R.R.Tolkien and J.K. Rowling. Over the years I have loved Edgar Rice Burroughs, Arthur Conan Doyle, Tony Hillerman, John D. MacDonald, John Jakes, Phyllis Whitney and Nagaio Marsh. I tend to be an author glutton. When I find one I really like I read everything I can get my hands on by them.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love taking on-line courses through my local library. Finding new fields of knowledge is exciting to me. I also am active in my local church. My husband and I enjoy spending time with friends and family. A friend and I started a bookclub, and we have become very close with the members of it. And, of course, we have two very spoiled cats who keep us busy paying attention to them.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Often, I will look for books by an author I like or have learned of through bookclub or by recommendation of a friend. Occasionally, I will see a movie based on a book and want to see how much better the book is than the movie. And, sometimes I will just cruise through the catalog to see what is new that is of interest.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes! It was a silly serial that was published in our high school newspaper. It was a crazy story with a lead character loosely based on Maxwell Smart of 'Get Smart' fame. Come to think of it, I believe I graduated before I ever finished that serial.
What is your writing process?
When I finally get a solid inspiration, I usually scratch out a brief outline, then set to work getting something on paper (or computer). I will do necessary research and usually accumulate mountains of slips of paper with informational bits on them or create dozens of computer files. When I have a working draft, I then go back and start the serious work of cleaning it up, and fleshing it out. I am not above doing dozens of rewrites before it is just right.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Aside from the stories I read for school, I remember reading a book about a teenage girl and thinking, 'I could write this.' That was early on in junior or senior high. I wasn't an avid reader then and hadn't learned to love reading yet. But, that was about the time I began to think seriously about writing. And with the encouragement of my English teacher, I took a stab at it. That first trial took on many incarnations and took many years to reach its current state, and one day I hope to actually publish it.
How do you approach cover design?
My first love was Art. It was by far my best subject in school, and I won some great prizes because of it. So when I discovered computers I also discovered how to use them artistically. I like designing my own covers. Nobody else knows the real significance of those items that are placed on there better than the author! For my last book, I used PowerPoint and some great 'free' photos from the web to compile my creation.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
It is hard to choose only five, because I love so many. But I think my favorites would be Lorna Doone, Gone with the Wind, The Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit and the Harry Potter series. All of them have great dynamics and characters that grab your interest and hold it as they mature and change throughout the book. And I love a book that can pull me in so far that I can be moved to tears or laughter through the eyes of the main character.
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