After graduating from high school, I received an A.A. in Liberal Arts and General Studies, both with honors from Oakland Community College in Michigan. Most of my full and part-time jobs I have held over the years have been in academia. I enjoy daily exercise, reading, creative writing, fine arts and world travel. I wrote a story entitled “Words to Live By” which was a runner-up for the Chicken Soup for the Soul: Children with Special Needs edition (2007). In 2009, I published my first children’s book, Bernice’s Bad Hair Days, with proceeds going to Locks of Love. The Magenta Man is my first novel and I have another one in the works. Currently, I live in my hometown state of Michigan with my husband and two children, after having spent some time in California, Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
What inspires you to write?
Life in general supplies the best material for my creativity, many times from a personal perspective. For example, “Words to Live By” was written regarding a situation when my special needs son was young and Bernice’s Bad Hair Days was based on my daughter’s hair donation to Locks of Love. The Magenta Man was actually the result of a dream and the efforts of what I like to call my inner muse.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’d like to say it’s easy with an endless stream of beautiful prose magically appearing before me, but then I’d have to lie. “Words to Live By” was written specifically for a request from the Chicken Soup for the Soul people, so it was more like a creative writing assignment. Bernice’s Bad Hair Days began as an idea about bad hair days and tied in nicely with hair donations for those with hair loss. There was some editing and expansion after consulting with the publisher, but with it being a children’s book, artwork was key. The Magenta Man was very different (and, I might add, not too far off from being easy with an endless stream of beautiful prose). I basically had a dream of the beginning of the story, which fueled my inner muse and creative impulses. I can remember carrying around a notebook and pen everywhere I went (car, shower, bed, etc.) because I would get these ideas, phrases, and descriptions that I would jot down and later incorporate into the story.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
The characters kind of appear to me and I try to develop them within the story keeping in mind the personalities of each. I must say, I do develop a relationship with each character and they become almost real and like a friend (or foe).
What advice would you give other writers?
Keep your eyes (and minds) open. Many things happen in the day-to-day that offer wonderful opportunities for story lines. Don’t feel you have to write perfectly at the onset – it’s more important to get the ideas down and then go back and edit.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I did send the manuscripts for Bernice’s Bad Hair Days and The Magenta Man to several publishers and agents to no avail. I still wanted them published, so I pursued self-publishing. Although it would have been nice for a publishing house to offer to publish the manuscripts, I have to say I have been very happy with my decision, despite the cost, time and energy to do so.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I wish both formats of print and eBooks would always be available options, but I personally think the printed book will one day no longer exist, which saddens me. There’s just something about the actual book that commands respect from me.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
Children’s, Chick Lit
What formats are your books in?