Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
If you want to count the four that are still in developmental stage, let’s say, fifty-five. I started out about a zillion years ago writing sweet romance–the only kind of romance novels that sold in those by-gone days–and so the first one I wrote to the first publishing house that saw it. I didn’t know it wasn’t supposed to be that easy. From there, I’ve moved right along putting more description and a lot fewer … after the bedroom door closed on the loving couple. So, from sweet romance, to contemporary romance, often with a humorous twist, completely unintentional, but there anyway, to futuristic romance, fantasy romance and even futuristic erotica. Now that, believe me, didn’t have any closed bedroom doors . I often didn’t even have a bedroom or so much as a bed when the mood came upon the characters.
People often ask what’s my favorite of the books I’ve written, and the answer is “all of them.” I love my characters, am fascinated by the predicaments they get themselves into, and the intriguing ways they discover to get themselves out of those tight places. It has nothing to do with me. They get right in there and steer the story wherever they want it to go. All I am is fingers on keyboard guided by some strange alchemy I’ve never understood. If I understood it, I probably wouldn’t be able to write another book. It’s sort of like having someone tell you how to roll a bowling ball while you’re in the process of doing it. If you listen to that instructor, your ball goes into the gutter every time. Something similar happened when I was stepping into my kayak and my husband, who answers to many names, learned he had even more names that he thought he had, called out to me, “Don’t fall in!” Of course I fell in.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My “what if” gene t kicked into gear when talking with my older sister about when she and her best friend at the age of 14 were totally humiliated and horrified by their respective mothers’visible pregnancies. Okay, what if there was a pregnant single mom with a teenage daughter? How would the kid react? What would make it even worse? Oh, yeah, the mom had been divorced, like forever, had no boyfriend in evidence, and had lectured long and often on “safe sex” because her other daughter, now 20, had come home, single, bringing with her a 3 year old son? The idea in writing a story is to throw more and more monkey wrenches into the characters’ gears. So what if not only was the younger, horrified daughter diabetic and resentful of that, as well as her mother for simply existing, but being pregnant? But since the story isn’t about Joanna’s kids as much as it is about her, what if she has a difficult, pot-smoking mother herself? What if she has a job or jobs that require her to look like a pillar of the community? What else can jinx Joanna? Oh, yes. Let’s have the 20 year old decide to get married and want good old Mom, illicit pregnancy and all, to stage manage the wedding and, gulp, invite the long-divorced dad of the two daughters? And what if he turns out to be far, far worse than even Joanna has thought? Joanna, Jinxed, is available in electronic format through Open Road Media in about every format you can think of.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don’t think I have any unusual writing habits. I love the commute, though, from the bed to the bathroom, to the coffee maker–where there may be a bit of congestion at times–to the computer where I’m often distracted by billboards like FaceBook, Goodreads, Twitter and my blog or website that may need immediate attention, if the big, huge flashing billboard labeled EMAIL doesn’t grab me first. Is is unusual to write all day in one’s nightshirt? Is it unusual to have leg-shackles attached to one’s office chair–shackles that lock on automatically when one sits down? Is it unusual to forget coffee until it gets cold? Is it unusual to take the whole shebang, shackles and all to the hammock when the back gets tired or one develops numb-rump? Nah, I don’t think I have any unusual writing habits. But then, there was the very hot week hen clothing of any description felt annoying and I dispensed with it entirely. But most writers I know would not consider that unusual, just maybe a little eccentric.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
To begin with, there isn’t room for a whole lot of names and/or titles here, so I’ll content myself with R.A. Heinlein, Janet Evanovitch, Kay Hooper, Anne McCaffrey, Nora Roberts and Joan Elliot Picard and a whole bunch of others who write the kinds of books I love to read.
What are you working on now?
Whatever title I decide to give the book that follows Refuge!
This is book one in the four book series, The Seasons of Storn. It was originally entitled “The Caverns of Winter” but there were so many people involved, each with his or her own reason for wanting to find a refuge from the horrendous, killing winter on the planet Storn, it took ninety percent of the manuscript to get them all there because so many mishaps befell them. The caverns are the refuge they sought, but their life in the caverns is another whole volume, so it needs a new title, too. Maybe it will become The Caverns of Winter, followed by the Meadows of Spring and the Forests of Summer, with the Rivers of Autumn pretty much finishing up the series. I’m having a lot of fun watching these people succeed or fail, survive or die, infuriate each other, learn lessons both difficult and easy, and deal with some very strange alien animals, that I don’t want to stop writing, so I have to ask myself why I’m writing this little article. The shameful fact is I love writing about my writing almost as much as I love doing it.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Word of mouth is the best method. I promote a little on social media, but not much. I have a website and a blog.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Success=ass in chair.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Success=ass in chair.
What are you reading now?
Exodus, by Leon Uris. I reread a lot of books because it’s like visiting old friends.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Finishing the series I’ve started and going into publication myself, as an Indie.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Time Enough for Love, closely followed by Anne of Green Gables and Atlas Shrugged.
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