Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I don’t think it’s as important WHERE I grew up as HOW. I grew up in the Bronx, a northern suburb of New York City and there were many opportunities to be myself, experience adventure, enjoy creativity, and meet so many different people. The HOW is that my parents were very open minded, encouraging and supportive so they allowed me to take advantage of these opportunities. I had a very happy and fulfilling childhood. Whenever things didn’t go just the way I wanted, my parents helped me see the positives and build from there. They loved my sister and me unconditionally and yet still expected us to abide by rules and high standards (they were terrific role models).
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love the idea of people reading the words I write and considering the ideas I pen. I feel a literal thrill every time I see my name on a book or as a byline to an article. It is an astonishing feeling to get people thinking and feeling.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans and all of my readers are the people I reach out to every time I write. They are the people I look to communicate with, they are the people I write for.
If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?
I would probably write a series of novels about Emergency Services, especially medical. I spent nearly three decades myself as a volunteer NYS Certified Emergency Medical Technician responding via an ambulance to all forms of medical and traumatic emergencies; my husband has also been a volunteer EMT and both of our offspring are career EMS. I also spent several years as a volunteer with the NYC Auxiliary Police (where I finally got together with my husband) and I have a lot of folks I care about in fire services. Emergency responders (paid or volunteer) put their own lives on the line constantly and have my complete admiration, respect and gratitude – they help to ensure the welfare of our homes and communities. I’ve already written two EMS stories, Final Sin and Hyphema and I probably will write more.
What question do you wish was on the list? Your answer?
I wish I had been asked about my experiences as a writer, the people and companies I’ve dealt with, and the lessons I’ve learned. I wrote my very first professionally published newspaper article as a favor for the Community Affairs Officer at the precinct where I was an Auxiliary Officer, it was about a young man who died while assisting a mugging victim and it taught me about the necessity of responsible journalism. Years later I freelanced for a few local magazines and learned lots about egos, pride, and the human factor. I also learned about editors who ranged from very easy to very difficult to work with. I made friends with one newspaper editor and we are still friends more than 25 years later, she taught me a lot. The first publishing company I ever signed with wasn’t supportive and I felt very alone and unsuccessful. However I finally found Vanilla Heart Publishing and have truly found a home, learned lots about teamwork, have received total support and have formed terrific friendships with the managing editor and several talented authors. And I still freelance for several magazines, newspapers and even a syndication service. My writing history has left me feeling confident and afforded me a lot of pride.
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