I drew stories before I learned to write and I wrote my first novel in high school but threw it away when I graduated college. That was the predecessor to my famous quote: A true writer is one who knows how to hit the delete key. Now that I work on a MacBook Pro, (shameless plug) I should say, “A true writer knows how to move to trash” which takes us right back to my first novel.
It was about a girl who gets a job airbrush t-shirts in Florida (my dream job at the time…I even asked for an airbrush for my 17th birthday) and meets this guy who moves in with her, his black lab runs away, she gets pregnant (doesn’t tell him) he dies of a brain aneurism and the dog comes back home.
Okay, now do you see why I tossed it?
I never excelled, in fact I barely passed high school English Grammar but my teachers always praised me for my creative writing. Rarely did a writing assignment occur that I did not get to read mine in front of the class. Add this to my love of performing at an early age, and you can only imagine the show I put on.
Three college degrees later, marriage, two sons, and my dream of owning an art gallery that offered creative courses slipping away, I returned to college at the age of forty to study theater. This is when I began to seriously write but in the form of plays and screenplays. I was encouraged by my professor to publish my stories in book form, first. Turning a 120 page screenplay into 85,000 + words seemed daunting at the time, but I finally got serious about it.
“The Kitchen Dance”, originally a screenplay, is my debut novel. The screenplay is good but, in my opinion, the book is better.
What inspires you to write?
I’ve always had great story ideas with interesting characters. I can see a photo, watch a stranger walk by, or read an article in the news and “imagine” the story behind it.
I recall as a child watching movies that I liked and imagining more to the story. I had the best ideas after watching “Star Wars: The New Hope” that continued the storyline even to the point where Darth Vader was Luke’s father. Imagine my surprise when I first saw “The Empire Strikes Back”!
In 2004, saw the play Six Characters in Search of an Author (Italian: Sei Personaggi in Cerca d’Autore) Italian play by Luigi Pirandello written in 1921. This inspired me to bring my characters to the public and give them their life and opportunity to tell their story.
Tell us about your writing process.
My writing process is rather basic. I created outlines and random dialogues that shaped the original screenplays and plays, and now I am using them as more defined outlines for the novels. I just fill in more detail and incorporate more character development along with more information into the backstory. Then I fill in the “decorative” stuff.
Yes, I write a book like building a house, starting with the foundation and ending with a crocheted toilet paper holder on the back of the toilet. However, even though I am still squaring up studs, I am also fantasizing about what color yarn to use on that toilet paper holder. 🙂
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Great question! (But I would drop a “to”. Two tos is one to too many) I have never thought about this before. I would have to answer, they talk to each other, and so I gather that I am eavesdropping.
This may be a result of my acting experience, but I “perform” the roles of each character. I was in “Speech Club” in high school and mostly competed with prose where I had to be several characters. The techniques I learned from these experiences, I feel, have helped my to develop interesting characters with realistic dialogues.
What advice would you give other writers?
I had no idea how much time promoting my first book would consume and I have become more fixated on reviews and sales than working on my next book. I try to take, and share, the advice of other writers, in that one should set up a good platform, and then let the book work for you while you work on your next novel. Only you know your characters, and it is up to you to tell their stories.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
At first, I went the agent route,
Due to the fact that most agency submissions require that you fish with a cane pole and a cricket, catching a agent proved to me a long tedious task and after receiving my share of rejection letters, I started researching independent publishers. I received four offers for publication but went with Melange Books, LLC for the simple reason that they allowed me to create my own cover.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I feel everyone has a great story in him or her and something wonderful to share with the world. I embrace the concept of self-publishing and the growing opportunities with independent publishers but only if the “author” welcomes the professional services that can help them to shape their story if they want their work to be something that is marketable.
To me, authors are like friends, and I’d rather spend my time with someone who has something interesting to share, than waste it on a bunch of drivel.
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
Your Social Media Links