Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, I have held close to my midwestern values. I think where I live influences my writing through a set of standards that are a bit more conservative than some other places in the world. Still, I think age is a factor to my style of writing because with each generation there is a change in thinking.
When did you first start writing?
Apparently, I started writing sooner than I thought! I put my pen to paper writing Loving with Purpose in December, 2007, but did write a bit of poetry and letters throughout my life. Since then, I've ran across some of my high school friends and old beaus who made comments such as, "I always knew you would write" or "Congrats on finishing the book." The last comment didn't make any sense to me because I hadn't even started writing my book back then (fifteen years ago) and couldn't imagine how he knew! I asked the same question to them each time..."How did you know?" They would tell them that I always was writing or that I talked about writing a book.
What I learned from these early year interactions is that although I must have had the intention to write, I was not being conscious about my decisions early on. Today, it gives me great pleasure to know that I am doing exactly what I apparently intended all along.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I had worked for a Fortune 500 company, but left to follow my husband to his work in Florida for a couple of years. When we returned, I wondered what I would do with the rest of my life. It had taken me over a year to get my career going at the Fortune 500 and doubted I would make the same income as I had at that wonderful company.
That is when it came to me that I should write. "Write about what?" I thought.
Then, one evening while out to dinner, I watched as an older gentleman escorted his wife to the table; placing his hand on the small of her back. In that very moment I realized what I wanted to write about: chivalry. I went back to my seat and began writing on napkins until I could get home and begin my journey.
After the first couple of months of writing, I decided I wanted to write this book to women. My second book will be geared toward men, but for now I wanted to talk 'girlfriend to girlfriend.'
Since putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), Loving with Purpose took on a life of its own. Only one chapter is about chivalry, while the rest of the book talks to her about many aspects of life: self-awareness, what to expect in a relationship, family issues, criticism, abuse, religion, financial matters, and many other aspects of a woman's life.
It's all about her conscious choices in dating, marriage, with her friends, her kids...even her finances.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
When I started to compile my writing, I decided to send packets of chapters and information to traditional literary agents. After over eighty rejections, I decided to take it on myself. That's where the real work came in. Research, research, learning, and research.
What I realized is that I didn't have a media platform that was enticing to any agent. I had to grow myself before anyone would even consider me. Basically, I 'put the cart before the horse' by asking for their blessings before I had done the marketing required by agency standards.
Today, I am proud to be an indie author. Although it was a lot of work and money, I now know the formula to get a book accomplished. Since then I have helped to edit/ghost write a couple of books and I love knowing that my research helped me to achieve new skills.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I grew...and boy did I! Even my husband said I'm not the same person since writing Loving with Purpose. To write, I had to take a long, hard look at myself. What did I want to share, who did I need to protect in the process, and what were my true morals and values? I had to face facts: I can write although I'm not perfect and that I don't have a perfect relationship...and that both of those are okay. No reader expects that of me.
Now I look forward to finding the time to create my second, third, and fourth book. All of them are in the works. I love the feeling of accomplishment and of having my book in hand. I am proud of the work I've done and I know it's a quality product.
My biggest goal: to help women get out of pain faster than I did.
What are you working on next?
I am working on a man's version of Loving with Purpose, along with a few short books on various topics surrounding self-awareness, personal development, and relationship growth.
Who are your favorite authors?
Eckhart Tolle, John Gray, Joel Osteen, and most of all, Rick Warren
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Knowing that I have lessons to share, insights to write, and a purpose from God that could help women achieve more success in life by creating higher standards for themselves.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Thinking about what I could write, speak, or coach to women in hopes of spreading a positive, inspiring message. I also love, love, love photography and am interested in creating a craft in some form for my inspirational messages. I also enjoy spending time with my grandchildren, husband, family, and friends.
My next adventure is painting...just to see if I have any talent in that arena.
What do you read for pleasure?
Self-help is my favorite because I know I am learning in the process.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle, but I'm open to try new devices in the future.
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