Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The book, "That was then, This is Now" was the first book I read for pleasure. A friend of mine in Memphis was reading it, and gave me a copy. I remember being overwhelmed from the gift of putting myself in another's story. It was so real to me, so very emotionally evocative that I could share the hopes and fears of the character Pony Boy as he told his story. It was the gritty underbelly of a social more I'd never experienced, but I knew about the emotions. This book exposed me to a culture I'd never considered, and because I was so young when I read it, it left a huge impression.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My favorite books are typically written in the first person. I also love books set in the South, or in the countryside of the UK. I like character driven stories, the kind that let me walk through a story in another's shoes and gives me the opportunity to identify with the narrator. The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy comes to mind, so that is book number one, two is The Secret History by Donna Tartt, three is Pat Conroy's South of Broad, four is The Mermaids Singing by Lisa Carey, and five is my own book, "Dancing to an Irish Reel" because I wrote exactly what I wanted to read. Does this sound arrogant!
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I don't know about the most effective, but Google+ is the most fun! I've loved meeting people with common interests, and some of the groups I'm in are populated with talkers! I will say that with my book "Dancing to an Irish Reel," I've had the great fortune of joining Irish groups such as The Irish Geese. They're a group of erudite, accomplished writers with connections to Ireland and I've been humbled and honored to be amongst them. But the overall effective marketing technique has been a group called Books go Social. Look into them, they're well worth the involvement!
When did you first start writing?
I have always been drawn to the written word. I started keeping a journal when I was in my late teens, and truly think the practice was instrumental in developing the craft. One becomes more succinct with word choice and brevity as they keep a journal; it's a natural by-product, and in my opinion! From there, I wrote poetry because it came easily to me; I just liked poetry's form and the chance to play with words. As for seriously writing, I wrote a weekly column for Malibu's newspaper wherein I told stories of life in town, then started submitting to magazines and the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. Everything blossomed from there.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I spent a year living in western Ireland and loved every minute! Once I moved back to America, I wanted to share my insights with friends, so I took the experience of living in Ireland and created a novel about a single American female who leaves the record business in Los Angeles and relocates to Connemara.
I wanted to infuse the story with interplay between an American narrator and a handful of modern day Irish characters, so I brought in an Irish traditional musician named Liam Hennessey, to employ as a focal point in illustrating a metaphoric, culture quandary, as well as showcasing the narrator’s burgeoning love for and discovery of all things Irish.
Next I took the premise and turned it into the discovery of love with its attendant complications, by having Liam so unbalanced at the prospect of love with an American outsider, that he can’t decide whether to come closer or completely run away. All in all, I wanted to write something that allowed readers to really know Ireland, to feel as if they've been there, or to encourage them to visit!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I am not an indie author. I have the great, good fortune of a wonderful working relationship with Vinspire Publishing, with whom I have two titles!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
There's a certain feeling of getting something off my chest!
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans mean everything! I consider them the people I talk to, as if my book is part of a dialogue, and a fans engagement is their response!
What are you working on next?
A Southern family saga entitled "Mourning Dove," which is set in the Deep South.
Who are your favorite authors?
Pat Conroy and Donna Tartt.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Unbridled joy at the thought of the day's possibilities!
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