I am a “late-blooming” author or a “born-to-bloom-unseen” author because I have been writing for such a long time in private, almost. That is, most of my writing has resided on my closet shelf rather than on any reader’s bookshelf. I have been shy about marketing. Also, I was a journalist at first, writing mostly nonfiction that I did manage to publish in many newspapers and some minor magazines. Of course, the money earned was paltry. I had little confidence in my fiction skills but that was where my heart lay. I loved making up things much more than dealing with facts. However, I must confess that half of my fiction is novelized memoir. I think I have written about every stage of my life, starting with childhood, up to the present time. But I shunned the “I,” first-person, much preferring to write in third-person. I think because I embellished the truth. Most authors do this consciously or unconsciously. However, I have written three or four novels that were totally imaginative, making things up out of whole cloth. Kindle has been my publishing platform. For many years I queried agents but had little success in finding a publisher, possibly because my writing doesn’t fall into modern day genres. I can’t say exactly where it does fall but it is a bit out of the mold, quirky, off-beat. I now have five books on Kindle and one long short story. Two of the books are novelized memoirs and one is a blog about living in a retirement home that’s been tucked into a novel. I live happily in Denver, widowed, with lots of grand kids.
What inspires you to write?
A love of words and expression dating back to childhood, and the need to communicate on a deep level that isn’t satisfied in ordinary life. Plus a streak of curiosity that questions things and last but not least, Irish forebears. I think there is lyricism in the Irish personality.
Tell us about your writing process.
I have always written the first thing in the morning upon arising quite early, like five a.m. I used to write exclusively in pencil on lined notebook paper but finally weaned myself to the computer which saves a big step. I kept a journal for years, putting down EXACTLY how I felt about things and this taught me to tell the truth in writing which Hemingway said was the most important thing. I never plan books, they have to arise organically and they seldom let me down. I don’t outline or plot or know hardly at all where the story is going. Usually , this random way works for me to my great surprise. I am a great believer in the power of the unconscious mind. That is, it’s at work almost undetected in us, and it’s best to give it free rein. I have a “quiet” conscious mind. It’s not full of stuff.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
No, I don’t but my characters do take over subtly and I think about them a lot after a book is finished. I mean, they are like friends whom I’m reminiscing with.
What advice would you give other writers?
The same advice always given: keep writing to improve and don’t be downhearted by rejections. Tell the truth (not literally, of course, but the truth of human nature. Tolstoy’s writing is the best example of this.) Cut down on modifiers, both adjectives and adverbs but don’t be staccato. Avoid too many similes as though they were de rigueur. And employ Divine Audacity. God helps those who dare. (This theme, a very important one to me, will be explored more in my blog which is just now being put together.)
How did you decide how to publish your books?
After too many rejections in the traditional publishing world, I was happy to go with self-publishing on Kindle. And I love to sell my books which keeps happening. It would please me it if an agent or editor discovered my writing and wanted to go with it but in the meantime I’m not waiting around for that.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think e-books have opened up a whole new, exciting world.
What genres do you write?
Commercial fiction , memoir
What formats are your books in?