Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a writing instructor at Gotham Writers’ Workshop and the author of ten published books. Love Again, the first book in the Women of the Crush series, debuts February 28, 2022.
In addition to writing and teaching, I am a landscape artist and an avid reader.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Love Again was inspired by my love of senior softball. My husband belongs to a tournament league, and the women in the stands always nagged me to write about the sport and include the love lives of the wives and girlfriends for a soap opera-like drama. After several years, I succumbed to the peer pressure and the Women of the Crush series was born.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I get up at 5 AM to write. I used to listen to music, but now I babysit a geriatric dog who needs constant attention.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Sophie Kinsella introduced me to chick-lit. Amy Tan inspired me to dive deep into my culture. Michael Chabon gave me permission to write outside my comfort zone. And Ernest Hemingway reminds me to write succinctly. My books tend to be shorter.
What are you working on now?
I just submitted the final book in the Women of the Crush series to my publisher, The Wild Rose Press. I am currently querying my midlife memoir, The Fool and the Magician.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m still exploring the best methods. Before the pandemic, I had the most success with in-person events, including book signings and book festivals. My contemporary sweetheart romance, Friends First, debuted in the midst of the pandemic, and I feel I didn’t give that book the launch it deserved.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Make writing a priority. You might have to sacrifice time, sleep, or other hobbies, but you need to make that investment to see results. Consistency is important, whether you write every day or once a week. Find a community of writers. Take a class to improve your craft skills. And, most importantly, respect the need to lay fallow between big projects. Even the fields need a season to replenish the soil. Give yourself permission to just be. Don’t worry. The words will return when they are ready.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Do not be tossed away. Too often we have ideas of what a successful writing career looks like, and if we don’t achieve that goal, we fall into despair. A healthier approach is to put in the effort and let go of any expected results.
What are you reading now?
I just finished Dear Memory by Victoria Chang, a lovely meditation on family history, personal memories, and the sense of self.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I don’t know. I am open to the universe.
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?
The Bible, Emily’s Quest by L.M. Montgomery, and whatever two books I have purchased but haven’t read yet. Today those books would be What Happens in Chicago by Liz Crowe, a hot contemporary romance, and The Energy Codes by Dr. Sue Morter, a mind-body-spiritual healing instruction manual.