What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
In my teens I fell in love with Stephen King Books. Salems Lot was always a favorite of mine. I went through a period in my life that I had something I needed to express and just couldn't find the voice to do it. So I wrote it instead. Before I knew it I had finished a novel. I talked about what I was writing with my husband Alan. He was such a great sounding board and he had really good advice. Then when I was done I let a good friend of mine Cindy Sturdevant read it.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
I have just finished my fourth novel, and with each one the process has been different. The first book was more of a healing process. The next in the series is called Shipping and Deceiving and it came to me the minute I began typing. I wrote it from start to finish in about three months.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
I love thrillers that keep me on the edge of my seat. Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Clive Barker, and I also enjoy anything that has to do with Vampires.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Strong Characters, and meaningful conflict.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
I really like first person. I think you can relate the passion, and raw emotions of a character better that way.
What well known writers do you admire most?
I think Stephen King is a true genius. The way his stories unfold, and intertwine with one another amazes me. Dean Kootz I admire because he makes you fall in love with his characters. You really care about them, and even feel for the villians in his stories.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
Purpose. I think each character has to have a reason to be in the story, and needs to grow in the book. I really try to put myself in the characters shoes. I make sure that what they do, how they respond, and why they are doing the things there doing make sense.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
I don't know. I am really a shy person in general, but at work my staff seems to enjoy when I tell them stories. They like when I act something out for them. I have been told many times in my life I should write a book, but never took it seriously. Well until now.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
It started out that I was writing for me, but now I am writing for the readers. I have had insomnia since my teens, and the only thing that helps me sleep is reading a good book. It takes me away from the real world and lets me clear my mind of all the things that keep me awake at night. I would love to be able to do that for others.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
Absolutely. I read once that writing helps purge the soul. I truely believe that. For me yes.
Does reader feed-back help you?
Yes. It's so important to get feedback from readers. It help you grow in your writing ability. Hearing what readers like, what they don't like, gives you direction for the next book.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
I just entered I Thought We Were Friends into a contest put on by writers digest. They won't announce winners until sometime in October.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Yes. My editor, and mentor. We spend time talking about the novels. She critiques them for me and gives me advice.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I believe for now I have found my voice. I am still learning, and know I grow in my writing skills, and eventually find a stronger voice.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I try to sit down and write for at least and hour a day. Somethimes its tough because I have a full time job too, but I really make an effort. If I am close to finishing a novel, I take Vacation time and spend 8 hours a day trying to wrap it up.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
My office has my treadmill in it so when I get stuck in my writing, I jump on it and take a walk. It helps me clear my thoughts. Often if I have specific characters in mind when I am writing I try to find a picture that fits the character and hang it on the wall above my computer. It helps me find the characters voice.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I do most of my writing on my computer. However i hand wrote the entire first book before I transfered it to the computer. I generally edit in word, and then print the book out and read a little each night before bed and make changes and corrections on the hard copy.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
Facebook, and my own website blogs.
What has been your experience with publishers?
The only one I have worked with is Createspace, and the experience has been great.
What are you working on now?
The third book in my series. Loss Prevention. This is a series of three novels that all take place in a warehouse. It is not a sequel as the characters are different, but i liked the unique setting.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
I think the first step is to find a mentor. I was lucky enough to hire an editor that became that for me. She has taught me so much and has been a real inspiration. There are many online sites that help you find the right editor for your writings. I did and its the best thing that could have happened for me. I don't think I would be writing today if it weren't for her help.