Friday, September 26, 2014

Plugging Some Books, last part

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
In 2002 a teacher friend of mine was challenging his English students to write a novel during the school year. I decided to give it a try myself on summer break. I was amazed at how much fun it was. The characters took over the work and my first novel, a chapter book for middle grade kids titled The Secret in the Hidden Cave, practically wrote itself.

Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
Absolutely – how could they not? There are always pieces of those experiences in my novels, though through the filters of time and understanding some of those events get more exciting. In A Soul’s Kiss , The Guardian's Diary, and Sheltered there are vestiges of several teenage events that involved boys and butterflies in my stomach.

Which writers have influenced you the most?
I wish I could name two or three, but seriously every single author I’ve ever read has had some kind of impact on me. My favorites are John Grisham, Clive Cussler, Michael Connelly, Janet Evanovich, Stephenie Meyer, Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz, and Brad Meltzer, to name just a few – very eclectic mix, I know.

What can we look forward to from you in the future?

I’m currently working on a young adult novel set at the end of this century with some anachronistic twists and a love triangle. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Plugging Some Books, part 3

What does your family think of your writing?
My mom and my husband are my first readers and they’re pretty proud of me. I think my kids are impressed, though they’re more stingy with their compliments.

Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
I was an obedient child, followed the rules, stayed out of trouble (what I mean is: I didn't get caught), and invented time machines and secret hideaways which were places of refuge, not traps. (I used the idea of secret traps in my psycho thriller EDGE OF ESCAPE.)

Did you like reading when you were a child?
I loved to read. My favorite place to read was six feet up in a tree in our front yard. That old poplar was so huge that the trunk was as thick as any six oaks put together.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Plugging A SOUL'S KISS, part 2

How long did it take you to write this book?
It took something like 6 to 8 months for a full first draft and then another year for tweaking, editing, and rewrites.

What is your writing routine?
Early every morning I sit on a loveseat in the sunroom of my deep-in-the-woods log home and, with my feet up, I type for a couple of hours until I get hungry for breakfast. Then I eat, go for an hour walk, and return to the laptop to proofread that morning’s work.

How did you get your book published?
For A Soul’s Kiss, instead of going through an agent, I submitted directly to a new indie publisher, Creative Prose Publishing, which is dedicated to “clean fiction.” They loved it.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love to play games like Dominion, Settlers, Scrabble, etc. Currently my husband and I consistently play Qwirkle for about an hour every day.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Plugging A SOUL'S KISS, part 1

What sparked the idea for this book?
I once read a book in which the main character was in a coma but still aware of her surroundings. I started thinking some “what ifs”: what if a girl was in a coma, but she could leave her body and her surroundings? What if she could get inside her friends’ and enemies’ minds? What if she unknowingly collected their secrets and spread them to others? From those “sparks” the story grew.

What was the hardest part to write in this book?
The ending, of course. I pretty much had a ball writing each of the five different points of view. Each character had a unique personality and quirks so advancing the plot was a lot of fun. But endings have to be satisfying and tie up any loose ends and leave the reader pleased.

How do you hope this book affects its readers?
I hope that readers see the connections between what we think and what we do, how we treat others and how others see us, and how much deeper everyone is than just the outer persona. We are such complicated beings and so much goes on in our heads that no one else can ever comprehend. Oh, gee, I just hope readers enjoy A Soul’s Kiss.