Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
As a writer, I love to explore dystopian events through the perspective of ordinary people. I’m dedicated to giving my readers terrifyingly real, astonishingly tender, gripping stories that combine book club and dystopian fiction.
I’ve written one published book, The After Days, and have another book called the Karma of the Tattoo sitting in a hard drive that I wrote ten years ago waiting for me to get it ready for publication.
After graduating from Syracuse University with a B.A. in Public Relations and Psychology and backpacking around the globe, I earned a master’s degree from the University of Maryland while working and raising two amazing kids. Recently, I participated in the Algonkian Writer Retreat and Novel Workshop.
In my day job, I help nonprofits and businesses use communication and marketing to showcase what makes them extraordinary. I have more than three decades of experience leading, marketing, and raising funds for nonprofit organizations. I also serve as the executive director of Friends of White Flint, a nonprofit organization working to transform the White Flint/Pike District area into a walkable, transit-oriented, vibrant community.
When I’m not obsessing over The After Days, I golf, bake, swing dance, spoil my granddaughter, think about working out, and read. Splitting my time between North Bethesda, MD and Bethany Beach, DE, I love laughing with my friends and family, all of whom have been incredibly supportive of my writing.
By the way, those aforementioned friends will tell you The After Days, is a great read. (Of course, they have to say that if they want invitations to the beach house, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong.)
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The After Days
I wrote The After Days because I was tired (oh so tired) of reading dystopian tales where the protagonist was a teenager or a male with superhuman powers. Where were all the ordinary suburbanites, doing their best in impossible situations? I wanted more books like The Handmaids Tale, Red Clocks, Vox, and Station 11.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I’m a pantser, so I have no idea what’s going to happen until it happens. At times, it feels like these characters are actually living a life that I’m simply recording, and when I need to make edits, I feel a bit like I’m changing a reality that truly exists. When a character had to die, I felt god-like, as if I had omnipotent power to alter the course of real lives, declaring who lives and who dies.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I love well-written, unusual dystopian fiction and innovative but believable science fiction. I adore genre-splitting books like Station 11 and Life After Life. Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite authors, and the best how-to-write book is by Stephen King.
What are you working on now?
Promoting my book (of course) and thinking through some ideas for my next novel.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I don’t know — I’m just starting to utilize different ones to promote my novel.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Stick with it, and remember that while writing is an individual endeavor, editing and publishing is a group project — good beta readers and paid editors are absolutely essential.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Delete all your adverbs.
What are you reading now?
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Children of the New World by Alexander Weinstein
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Chemistry by Weike Wang
What’s next for you as a writer?
Definitely another book — perhaps a sequel to The After Days. Plus I get to write everyday in my day job as a nonprofit consultant — blogs, newsletters, social media posts, and other collateral material.
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?
Margaret Atwood Oryx and Crake
The entire collection of Harry Potter
A very thick blank journal so I could write