Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Growing up, my Dad moved us across the US from coast to coast, going from one engineering project to the next. Changing schools every few years was hell. I was always the new kid who didn't talk or dress like everyone else. Different school districts taught different skills in different grades, so there were things I missed, or I had already learned. It didn't help that I also had an unidentified learning disability. Especially after being identified, not just gifted, but a genius in kindergarten. I can't count how many times I was told I was too smart to be so stupid.
In fact, it wasn't until I saw my kids struggling with the same issues, that I learned I was different. (When a fifth grade student's assessments show +college level reading comprehension, but can't write to a fourth grade prompt, there's a problem. Duh...) Unfortunately, the schools refused to help, so I got a PC and taught myself to write, figuring out a different approach that worked for people like us. (I can't write a complete sentence by hand.)
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I started reading as such a young age that I really don't remember the first book I read. But there are a few books that left a lasting impression on me or changed the way I viewed the world. Ray Bradbury's "The Martian Chronicles" is always the first title that comes to mind when I'm asked. And although it's not a novel, Poe's poem "Annabelle Lee" as well as his "The Monkey's Paw" story(my kids claim they suffered trauma when I read "The Monkey's Paw" to them at too tender an age) are some others whose memory can still elicit emotion.
When did you first start writing?
Writing fiction... about two years ago. Other than that, when my kids were in high school, I took a freshman English class at the local community college and worked for a semester as a copy-editor on their newspaper to show my kids that being different wasn't an excuse to fail. Even with a computer, the five paragraph essays everyone else completed in class took me eleven hours to complete at home. (I had some very understanding professors, once they found out I was dysgraphic. Max and Dr. Winnie you're the bomb-diggety)
Describe your desk
Don't have one...
What do you read for pleasure?
I read just about everything, even shampoo bottles. It's not surprising that I've been on a romance kick lately, but I also like action/adventure and urban fantasy.
What do your fans mean to you?
They mean everything, and I try to personally respond to reviews, comments and emails. Not to put them on the spot, but to thank them. I’ve only been published a few months, and their insights have already been invaluable. And, although we may disagree at times, their thoughts and opinions have for the most part, been well reasoned, and extremely helpful. And it's okay if someone doesn't like my book; it happens. We're all different, and we won't always like the same things. I’m still grateful for their patronage. They didn't have to purchase my book then spend hours reading the words of some unknown indie author they can never get back.
So I give all my readers’ praise and criticism the thoughtful consideration it deserves then respond with courtesy and respect (well so long as it isn't a personal attack... I don't respond to those, or negative comments if they haven't read the book.) I want my readers to know their thoughts are important to me (even when we don't agree) because they really do matter… and that’s all I have to say on this.
What do you expect your writing to accomplish?
My writing isn't "high art," nor is it intended to be. It's escapism. It's a vacation from reality, boredom, loneliness and heartache. At the end of the day, I hope to give my readers a reason to smile, or better yet elicit bursts of spontaneous laughter that make strangers on the subway nervous.
What are you working on next?
Currently I'm editing a dark comedy novella titled: "Dead Dwight: a dark comedy." It's set in the imaginary town of Coalhaven in North Carolina's Appalachian mountains: Think "My Name is Earl" meets "Sean of the Dead." Since it's not a romance I'm publishing it under the pen name E.V. Iverson (my paternal grandmother's maiden name.) Below is the blurb:
"Dwight has problems… He found himself wandering barefoot on the Picks Crossing Bridge with no recollection of how he got there and he can’t find his truck. What good is a junkman without a truck?
So when he got his barefooted ass home, and his barfly, karaoke killing girlfriend informed him, he wasn't just dead, he was zombiefied, and she was running off to Nashville with the local crackhead to become a star.…He ate her.
Now he had to figure out how to sweet-talk a creepy, tobacco-chewing, old crone into making him not dead before his favorite parts started rotting off."
I'm also working out the story arc for (hopefully) the next "The Science of Loving" book.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
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