I love to read all kinds of books. Not surprising, though, mystery series are my favorite. Martha Grimes, Caroline Graham and Elizabeth George are among my very favorite authors. I also like Dorothy Cannell and of course the classics like Agatha Christie and Dashiel Hammett and many more. But I also love Stephen King and most recently have become quite a fan of David Rhodes.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I feel very grateful for all the things I have been given in life. But there is so much I still want to do that I am anxious to get as much of it done as possible before the runway runs out. I have a sign in my office: "What are you waiting for?" I look at that every day and it inspires me to keep doing new things.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to golf, garden, swim and paint. I do love being outdoors and living in California, I get to spend a lot of time outside. I am a foodie and love to cook (and eat) and browse around artsy shops.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I belong to a book club and that's one really good way to discover new authors and genres. And of course, I regularly spend time on retail websites seeing what my favorite authors are up to. I also recently joined a audio book club. I love to listen to book tapes when I'm walking or driving. Some of them send daily deals. It's a great way to discover new books.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was about a young boy who lost his mom and dad and therefore didn't feel thankful at all at Thanksgiving. Very sad for a second grader. But I still love stories that pull on the heart strings.
What is your writing process?
I am a very visual person, so I draw a line similar to a graph on a piece of paper and fill in the major ideas for the story from beginning through to building suspense, then the climax and conclusion. Since I write a series, I also write down the big things that are going on with my characters. Once I have a good visual outline, I start writing and usually the story details unfolds pretty readily as I go. The most important thing for me is to sit down and start writing. Even if I think I have writer's block, if I just sit at my computer and start to type, the story usually comes.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. Five Smooth Stones by Anne Fairbairn--because it was the first really BIG novel I read as a young girl and I was so taken in by such a beautiful and tragic love story. 2. The World According to Garp by John Irving--because Garp is such a truly unforgettable character. 3. Delores Claiborne by Stephen King-- because King was able to write the book as a monologue and it still grabs you and holds your attention right through to the end. 4. The Elephant Whisperer by Laurence Anthony--a beautifully written and inspiring story. 5. The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan--this is is a book that changed the way I shop, cook, eat and think about food.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When I hear one of my readers remark that they can't wait for my next book, it is a wonderful feeling. I have really become attached to my characters and I love it when my readers become attached too.
How do you approach cover design?
I find cover design to be the hardest part of self-publishing. But it's really important. I think it's worth it to pay a professional.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle for most books, but I do use my iPad for cookbooks and magazines.
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