Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in metro Atlanta and am a product of the "New South." In my home, to be rude was just as bad - or worse - than murdering someone. Curse words were for people who didn't have a decent vocabulary to express their feelings. My parents were superb grammarians and loved books and the English language. From my mother, I inherited a love of trees and could not live without them. Just as my father did, I hate cold weather. My favorite season is autumn. My parents enveloped my sister and me with love, kindness, books, and respect for education and other people.
When did you first start writing?
Reared in a home full of books, I began writing as a young child. I remember writing a letter to the horseback riding stable where my parents had kindly given me riding lessons when I was eight years old. I wanted to buy Silver, a wonderful horse, for whatever money I had at the time. That didn't work. My father said I could have a horse when I grew up and could buy one of my own. I did. I attended journalism school at the University of Georgia, but never worked as a journalist, having diverted to the profession of counseling.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My husband and I fell in love with German Shepherd Dogs, learned as much as we could about them, and bred one litter. This book is a compilation of stories from those puppies' lives.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I took a class on "Writing Your Life Story," which was for people who wanted to leave a legacy for their children and grandchildren. My "children" were all canines. My teacher and classmates encouraged me to write and share my "dog stories," and I realized that the collected stories could constitute a book. I met my editor, Josh Langston, through that program, and he encouraged me to publish as an indie author.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I am new to Smashwords since this is my first book, but my editor has had success publishing his books on it.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
For me the greatest joy of writing is to share the love of the dogs and dog friends I have had over the years. I hope also to entertain fellow dog lovers, and to educate readers about German Shepherd Dogs. My dog stories have included artificial insemination, gold bead implants, therapy dog work, stem cell therapy, sheep herding, and life-threatening medical conditions. My husband's and my dogs have had state of the art conventional and holistic veterinary treatments, and I hope the stories of those treatments may help other people and dogs in the future.
What do your fans mean to you?
Once my book is published, I hope my fans will be fellow dog lovers.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on Wolfsong's Last Chapter, about my husband's and my current German Shepherd Dog and the challenges we are facing together.
Who are your favorite authors?
Dick Francis, MC Beaton, PD James, Susan Conant, Sue Henry. Yes, I am addicted to reading murder mysteries, and I particularly like the ones which involve dogs and horses!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My husband George and our dog, Jonathan.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I worked in the field of rehabilitation counseling for many years, and now have a consulting business which allows me to help workers who have been seriously hurt on the job. When I'm not working on that, I read my beloved murder mysteries!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I discover ebooks from websites which sell and review them.
What is your writing process?
I write best when I have a deadline, so taking a weekly writing class, as well as having an excellent editor, help me write "the next chapter." I compose directly on the computer, because even I can't read my handwriting!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first book I ever read was "The Black Stallion," by Walter Farley. I was in the second grade and already adored horses. I read all the rest of the Black Stallion series and many other books about horses, including most of those written by Marguerite Henry. My parents owned every book ever written by Agatha Christie, so that's how I became interested in murder mysteries. They also loved PG Wodehouse, and so did I.
Describe your desk
My desk is my desktop computer!
How do you approach cover design?
A friend who takes professional photos at dog shows came to my husband's and my house and took pictures of our dogs. They were all great, but one head shot in particular was stunning. When I decided to publish a memoir of our dogs, I knew it would go on the cover. I asked my editor/formatter to design a cover using it. Because I write "dogoirs," I'm pretty sure that all my books will have dog photos on the cover.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.