What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“Tales from the Gutter” is the name of my latest book. I was inspired to write it after laughing over past life experiences with a friend. I am the type of person who can get along with anyone. But, I realized that some of my more ghetto experiences would have my upper middle class friends clutching their pearls! I decided to put it out there and see where it goes. Some of the book is funny, some of it is sad and some of it is plain weird.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I am a night owl. I do a lot of my writing late at night and in the early morning. I don’t think that is too strange though!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I read Hugh Gregory Gallagher’s book “Black Bird Fly Away” when I was 19 years old and it really affected me. Gallagher was a 19 year old college student who was stricken with polio back in 1952. I was born at a time where people did not have to worry about this. But, his writing was just excellent and he explored every facet of his feelings about being left paralyzed without sugar coating anything. We live in a culture that tells us to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and “make lemonade out of lemons”. Gallagher did not go along with this forced cheer. He told frankly of his on and off again depression, his relationships and his learning to live and contribute to society again in spite of his disability. Gallagher also drafted the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 and was a lifelong disability advocate. I find his work and his life to be so inspiring.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
My advice is to be organized. Before you start writing, do a “rough draft” of what you want to write about. Outline your thoughts on a sheet of paper. Be organized in your writing so that your thoughts will flow and everything will fit together better.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
My aunt always told me to “have your own”. You really cannot depend on any other human being to take care of you. You have to plan, make wise choices and take care of yourself. No one owes anyone anything.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything! Without fans, you have nothing. Fans are my motivation and inspiration.
What are you working on next?
Now, I am working on writing some songs and promoting “Tales from the Gutter”.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My rescue cat "Chirpy".
How do you approach cover design?
I just look for something simple and eye catching.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read fantasy books, mystery novels and self help books.
When did you first start writing?
I was about 11 years old. I began writing poetry and entering the poems into contests I found online and in magazines.
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