Question & Answer
YOU ARE HAVING TEA WITH ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS. WHO IS IT, AND WHAT WOULD YOU ASK HIM OR HER IF YOU COULD ONLY ASK ONE QUESTION?
The author would be F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’ve loved him since I read THE GREAT GATSBY years and years ago. I would ask him to tell me stories about the roaring twenties, the Jazz Age and life as an ex-pat in Paris.
WHAT’S THE MOST SURPRISING THING YOU’VE DISCOVERED ABOUT HAVING A BOOK PUBLISHED?
The most surprising thing was learning first hand that making a career as an author is one of the hardest, but most enjoyable, things I’ve ever done. It’s a constant juggling act: conceiving new ideas; writing proposals; writing the books; and promoting the books. Then the cycle starts all over again (and each “ball” has its own subset of demands, which must be met). If I’m not careful, it’s easy to drop the balls. Then life to gets out of balance. Still, I can’t imagine doing anything else. I will never retire.
WHAT’S YOUR TYPICAL WRITING DAY LIKE?
My husband and I are recent empty nesters, and it’s taken some adjusting to get used to our new life. When our daughter was at home, I would write at night ( sometimes into the wee hours of the morning) because that was when my loves were safe and sound under one roof, the house was quiet, the phone wasn’t ringing and most sane people weren’t sending emails. However, since last fall, I’ve tried to adjust my schedule so that I get to bed at a decent hour and don’t work weekends. (Please click on the tab “Extra Fun,” and see the post “A Day in the Life” for a detailed look at one of my typical writing days. In that section, also stop in for “A Tour of My Office.” Be sure to actually click on the “Extra Fun” link. If your mouse “hovers” over it, you’ll see a drop-down menu with other options. A Day in the Life” and “A Tour of My Office” aren’t in that list. You have to actually click on the “Extra Fun” link. Then, of course, please go back and explore the items in the drop-down menu).
WHAT WAS THE FIRST BOOK YOU READ THAT INSPIRED YOU IN SOME SPECIAL WAY? WHY?
When I was a very young, I fell in love with Maurice Sendak’s WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE (and, I’m STILL crazy about it). It’s the first book I remember loving. It seemed so exciting to my young mind. Even without the fabulous illustrations, the story evoked such vivid images and a feeling that I was along for the adventure with Max. I read it over and over. Later, of course, I graduated to other books – NANCY DREW and LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, but WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE still holds a special place in my heart.
WHICH DO YOU COME UP WITH FIRST: THE CHARACTERS, OR THE STORYLINE?
I’ve had both happen first. Usually, the characters introduce themselves to me first and they tell me their stories, but I have had occasions when I see or read about a situation and think, WOW! That would make a great story. My best advice is to be open to both avenues, but in both cases remember to develop your characters. Well-crafted characters who are sympathetic and relatable are the heart of every good story.
IF WE ASKED YOUR BEST FRIENDS TO DESCRIBE YOU IN 3 WORDS WHAT WOULD THEY SAY? WHAT IF WE ASKED YOU?
It was a little awkward asking for three words. Fishing for compliments, anyone? Still, I’m blessed with wonderful friends and the most common words they used to describe me were compassionate; caring; and creative. Although, I must admit, one of my favorite from the survey results was mischievous. Tee-hee-hee! If I had to describe me in three…family-oriented, determined and passionate.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO GET PUBLISHED?
I started writing seriously (with being published in mind) in 1997. Five years and four completed manuscripts later, I got THE CALL!
HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN?
Thirty! Twenty-five are currently available. Twenty-six is MY FAIR FORTUNE (book five in the on-going Fortunes of Texas series – May 2015); twenty-seven the first book in Tule’s Amalfi Nights series (June 2015); twenty-eight is HOW TO MARRY A DOCTOR (July 2015); twenty-nine is HIS TEXAS CHRISTMAS BRIDE (November 2015); and thirty is book five in the on-going Fortunes of Texas series (May 2016) .
WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?
Spare time? What’s that? Haha! I am trying be better at making time for the things I love outside of writing… After all, it’s a way of refilling the creative well. When I’m not writing, you’ll find me cooking (I love to bake and try new savory recipes); taking photographs (I used to have a photography fellowship at an art school); working in my art journal; reading; spending time with my friends and family (and animals); and wasting way too much time on Pinterest!
COFFEE OR TEA?
DIAMONDS OR PEARLS?
Both, but mostly pearls
CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA?
DOGS OR CATS?
DO YOU PREFER READERS TO CONTACT YOU THROUGH EMAIL OR YOUR BLOG?
I love to hear from readers! They are welcome to contact me either way: through my website (please see the contact page) or through email: firstname.lastname@example.org.