Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am married to my book cover artist, Jason M. Jones for nearly eighteen happy years. I have two fids (a feathered one named Priscilla and a fury one named Princess Polka-dot). As a child I was an avid reader of autobiographies and biographies, and still am. The library was my favorite place to visit, and still is. And I’m the author of ten novels, so far.
I’m a hyper sort with eclectic tastes and interests, and I have to learn how to do just about everything I discover; I even made my own paperback books by hand (library quality) many years ago, because I simply had to know how it was done. When I’m not writing I’m day-tripping, baking, decorating cakes, sewing, sketching, or working on my website (and making people giggle on FB). I’ve always wanted my own tiny bakery shop so I spend lots of time developing magnificent recipes for that eventuality, and I make gifts of the results because it makes me happy.
Periodically, I take on a job outside of writing to meet new and amazing people, get some regular exercise and keep my work skills up to par. An unexpected lesson I learned in retail management is the importance of breaks throughout the day. I’ve incorporated sporadic breaks in my writing day to do something completely different for a few minutes; something I was never a fan of doing before. As a result, I get more exercise and fresh air with my dog and the living pad is a lot more organized.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Never Caught. Never Free. is my latest book. It came to me as I sat in the parking lot of a local big box store watching the police respond to a bank robbery in the adjacent lot. It was clear that they had not arrived in time to catch the robber, and since we had some time to kill my husband and I watched the police do their work.
As we watched, we talked about the odds of the robber being caught and looked around at the many escape routes the guy or gal might have taken. We stared at the bank windows and watched people moving around inside the bank alongside several other people who’d pulled their cars alongside ours to see what was happening from a safe distance. Naturally, that led us to speculate that the robber might be in one of those vehicles so we agreed not to look directly at drivers as they pulled up and parked.
Time passed but I couldn’t get the scene we’d watched play out in front of us out of my head, so I decided to write a story about it offering my own version of what had happened that day at the bank, and how the robber had gotten away. Never Caught. Never Free. was the result.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I’m not sure if it’s terribly unusual, but I visualize the story I’m writing so it’s as if I am watching a movie no one else can see or hear. Fortunately I am a pretty fast typist because scenes seem to take on a life of their own and move forward at such a pace it’s no easy feat keeping up with it. Because this is my style I am always excited to hear what others think of my stories; they do not feel like I constructed them. I just let them happen and make a note of it. When I finish each story I research the places and time frames to see if the story hits its marks and am amazed and delighted to discover that they are amazingly plausible stories.
This style often leads people to assume that I am a psychic, which isn’t the case. Recently, a man told me he had figured out why I never drove a car (which isn’t true, by the way): he said he decided that I don’t drive because I see dead people and he can imagine that this would make it difficult to drive without wrecking. I was stunned speechless for a moment, then quickly corrected him that I do indeed drive; love it in fact; and that I do not see dead people everywhere I turn. Lucky for me!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom is an amazing book I read as a child and re-read many years later. This book was filled with such imagination stimulating material I couldn’t put it down. It was disturbing and inspiring.
The Redwall Series by Brian Jacques is my absolute favorite series to date. My mother-in-law introduced me to the series and my sweet husband made a point of buying me every book in the series while I was recovering from a massive sinus and double ear infection many years ago when we lived in Florida (my home state). This series was created to be read to blind children – how magnificent is that! – and it is so well done I was completely taken with the tale. I adore animals of all kinds and I’ve always imagined that they live a marvelously integrated society filled with intrigue. This series is not only a terrific read, it is inspiring in that it taps one’s inner confidence to wander and explore the world without trepidation.
What are you working on now?
This author interview, of course. Ha. Okay, I’m finishing up a sequel to Never Caught. Never Free. which may or may not turn into anything soon but it’s fun to write it anyway. I’m also working out some new recipes: I’ve discovered so many new and delicious treats lately I’ve become addicted to making them. One is a mini chocolate chip cookies – which qualifies in my book as a super breakfast of champions. Another is a fabulous bread stick that tops anything you’ll find in a restaurant – and I’m quite serious about this fact. They are so good and the recipe is so versatile I use it to make cinnamon buns, bread sticks and hamburger buns. I’ll post it on my website sooner or later so everyone can try them out.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I only sell through Amazon and I have really enjoyed their platform for both selling and advertising. I make regular use of their promo opportunities for each of my books to help create greater visibility for those readers who might enjoy my stories.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
I do. Nearly everyone I meet tells me they’ve always wanted to write a book and I tell them “Please do!”. Follow through with your dream and write a book; just write it. Don’t worry about what will happen next; you can figure that out later.
Too often, I think, people get intimidated by the very thing they love – writing. They believe they cannot do it, they critique others who have, they doubt themselves and they don’t end up writing a thing. How sad.
One thing to keep in mind, if you want to write a book, is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. There is your way and other people’s way, just like everything else in life. You surely wouldn’t work at this place or that, in this role or that, based entirely upon what others were doing or thinking about doing, would you? Writing is no different so don’t treat it differently.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
The best piece of advise I’ve received was from the administrator of the US Copyright Office. I submitted a request to delay filing for my copyright on one of my books because I couldn’t afford to file at that moment. I received a letter from the administrator granting the delay and in it he stated that what I was doing as a writer was a contribution to my country’s documented history. He said I was contributing to society!
I’d never thought of sharing my stories as anything more than that, but this man put what writers do into an entirely different context. He made me realized that those books of mine in the public library, those registered copies at the US Copyright Office, are my contribution to my country’s history.
What are you reading now?
When I am working on a story I cannot read anything else for fear of cross-contamination, so at this moment I’m reading what I’m writing. And since I write what I want to read I’m sure I’ll like the story when it’s finished. 🙂
What’s next for you as a writer?
Several people have suggested that I write a children’s book that includes some of my silly artwork and I’m mulling that over. My husband and I have written one children’s book for one special person (my nephew). There is only that one copy and it was made with love especially for him. I love my silly artwork, but I’m not sure just how to apply it in a children’s book right now.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Four blank-paged hard-bound books with pens secured in the binding.
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