I grew up moving all around the United States courtesy of the U.S. Navy. It was a way to see and enjoy different cultures, locations, thoughts. I settled in the northeast United States and now am in New England enjoying snow (well, sometimes), autumn leaves (always!) and the beautiful rolling hills. When I’m not working or writing, I am trying to knit, cooking and watching the stars.
What inspires you to write?
Telling stories, pure and simple, is what inspires me to write. I see something – say, a woman strolling with a prancing dog on a hot day – and I find myself filling in the blanks about what they are doing, why she’s laughing at the dog, why he’s prancing so happily… and suddenly I have a story.
But the inspiration is, I think, the wonderful feeling I get if someone reads one of my stories and enjoys it, gets something out of it, connects with it. I think at heart writers are entertainers.
Tell us about your writing process.
I always carry around a notebook and a pen, though I’ve been known to scribble on paper towels and napkins. Capturing an idea when it first occurs is crucial – the freshness, the possibilities. Honing comes later. I think I’m a seat-of-the-pants outliner, myself. I do use Scrivener – and love it! – but my stories start with an idea of a situation or a person in a situation. As the story develops, insights also come to me and they tend to help shape the story. I have an overall notion of where the story is going, and if something does not fit, it is discarded, sometimes regretfully.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I certainly do. I say “Do this!” and they say “Ah… Actually it would go better if we did that…” And I say, “Let me think about it…” Sometimes I decide they’re right. And sometimes I find myself laughing at their antics or crying about their grief.
What advice would you give other writers?
Keep writing. Write what you believe is good. Get criticism and consider it, but be true to your own vision. Don’t be afraid to try something new, and don’t be afraid to push through dry spells.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I chose to self-publish after an involvement with an unscrupulous agent made it impossible for me to continue submitting my manuscripts. (“No one will want to touch them because we don’t know where they were sent and how much damage he did with his actions.”) That tied up two of my books. I finally self-published them because I thought they were too enjoyable not to put out there for people to read. It was an adventure and took a lot of learning, but I don’t regret it.
My advice to a new author is not to rule anything out. Explore. Send queries (and learn how to write a good one!). But most of all – get your work into the best possible form you can. Your readers deserve it.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I don’t think books – electronic or otherwise – will go away. I don’t think traditional or self-pubishing will go away. And I do think that people will still want to hear or read stories.
What do you use?
Professional Editor and Beta Readers.
What genres do you write?
Historical fiction; historical mystery, and historical romance.
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print.