When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Caring for my animals, reading, watching great shows - it's the Golden Age of Television.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Book Reviews, Internet searches
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes - want to know what is was - not telling - it's my least favorite of all of the books I've written.
What is your writing process?
Inspiration strikes at the oddest times - lying in bed at night, mucking stalls. Once I have an idea, I think about it while I'm doing other things - the stories kind of write themselves. I don't use outlines. Stories often turn out far differently than I planned as characters seem to take me where they want to go. But once I begin, I pretty much write a story from start to finish and then go back to polish. I do very little rewriting. No writer's block so far.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Don't really remember the very first but I was using my mother's library card to get books from the adult library very early on - librarian called my mom to ask if she knew I had taken out some book that was apparently considered pretty racy back in the day but would be considered tame today. Most influential book - Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier - still a favorite.
How do you approach cover design?
I love to do covers - try to make them as visual and striking as possible. Always use photos taken in the area where a book is set - most often taken by my very talented husband. Check out my covers even if you don't read the books.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Shutter Island - Dennis LeHane - blew me away - never knew where it was going - couldn't stop thinking about it. Rebecca - the all time classic Gothic mystery/romance with the best opening line ever - ask Stephen Kiing Anything by James Lee Burke - especially the Dave Robicheaux series - the immediacy of the setting - the troubled protagonist Gone With the Wind - I know - it's no longer politically correct but who can resist Scarlett O'Hara? Horse Heaven- Jane Smiley - broke my heart but captured the essence of what it is to love horses
What do you read for pleasure?
Mysteries - and more mysteries
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle for Mac - I have a Kindle but find it easier to work with it on my Macbook
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Facebook, social media, word of mouth - I can't afford advertising.
Describe your desk
The table on my porch - overlooking the stable with my bunnies in their big enclosure right beside me.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the twin cities of Marinette, Wisconsin and Menominee Michigan - the greatest influence it had on me as a writer was that it became the background for my 2 volume set Maggie Ryan - set in the time and place where and when I grew up.
When did you first start writing?
For my 50th birthday - I decided to take up horseback riding. It had always frightened me and I wanted to do something overwhelming as I entered that decade.
The year I turned 65 seemed like an even greater milestone worthy of some grand gesture - I chose writing and have published 20 books to date.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest work in progress is Mandolin Wind - it was inspired by the histories of my mother's French Canadian family and the Danish family of a friend - but there was no real hook in just writing - The Richard family emigrated from Normandy to Quebec in the 1600's so I created a fictional pair of star crossed lovers to make it interesting. It opens in Normandy in 1943 just before D day and flashes back and forth in time.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
About a million rejections from literary agents.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Creating characters and stories that hopefully entertain readers
Who are your favorite authors?
James Lee Burke, Dennis LeHane, Stephen King, Susan Straight, Louise Erdrich, Joyce Carol Oates
What do your fans mean to you?
I love them. They are the reason I write. They demand that I keep them entertained so I always have to come up with fresh ideas and themes.
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