I’m a book lover, both to read and to write. Growing up, I was lucky enough to have parents who designated a room in the house as the “den” — reserving one wall, floor to ceiling, for books — and in so doing gifted me with a love of books that has stayed with me my entire life. As a child, I worked my way through my dad’s library, reading everything I could get my hands on, whether I understood the content or not. I even read the encyclopedias when I couldn’t find anything else to read! In school I spent as much time reading the novels hidden behind my textbooks as I did paying attention to my lessons. I’m still a prolific reader, enjoying everything from nonfiction to literature and general fiction. When I’m not reading or writing, you might find me outdoors with my camera, enjoying the beautiful northern Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. I’ve written a lot over the years, but until now — other than a series of magazine articles, a stint as a newspaper columnist, and most recently, my food blog — much of it has remained unpublished. I’m working on changing that, one book at a time.
What inspires you to write?
As a child with a vivid imagination, I was forever making up stories. To this day, writing remains my creative outlet for the abundance of daydreams and information swirling around in my head. As a lifelong learner, I get excited about sharing things fascinates me; I’ve written numerous articles on multicultural arts and crafts and exploring gardening and nature through science and art, including hands-on projects. Tapping into my background as an avowed foodie, I have been sharing original recipes on my food blog and have a couple cookbooks in the works.
Tell us about your writing process.
I write on the fly. I used to fill up notebooks with hand-written stories, but now, it’s me and my laptop.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I will often play out a dialogue in my head as I’m writing, or I may spend some time daydreaming just prior to writing time.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t skip the editing process! Having your manuscript professionally edited is one of the most critical steps in the publishing process. As the author, you are so familiar with your book, your mind will convince you that what you expect to see is what you are seeing. And, unfortunately, Microsoft Word’s spell checker and grammar checker are unreliable—they don’t know your intentions and often correct things that are already correct or ignore things that are wrong. Choose your editor wisely—not your mom, not your best friend—not even your ninth-grade English teacher! Hire someone specifically trained in book-editing skills. It makes all the difference.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
At this time, I’ve chosen to forgo the traditional publishing route. Although I’ve had numerous articles published in both print and online magazines, and even had my own newspaper column – to-date, I’ve never had a book deal – just a lovely stack of polite rejection letters to show for the various book manuscripts I’ve submitted to publishing houses over the years. Forming my own publishing company seemed like the natural next step, especially as I’ve already helped several authors self-publish their own books over the past couple years, which I found to be both gratifying and fun.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
These days, all sorts of opportunities are possible that weren’t available before. Authors don’t have to sit around and wait for a book deal. We can self-publish or work with smaller publishing companies and get our books out there now. The flexibility and control of print-on-demand publishing, and keeping our hard-earned royalties and retaining our rights throughout the publishing process is changing the landscape for authors, allowing us to say good-bye to the rejection of traditional publishers, the two-year publishing cycle, the hassles of guessing print-runs, managing inventory and the responsibility of order fulfillment. As a hardworking writer who dreams of seeing our books in print, why not create our own positive publishing experiences?.
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
children’s picture books, cookbooks, gardening with children, global arts and crafts
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print