Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Growing up in a rural Kansas setting, I admit I didn’t find my adventures in books. I had no desire to write stories when I could live my escapades with my four-legged farm friends and a vivid imagination.
As an adult, I married my high school sweetheart and became a mother. Life kept me busy for many years until I sold the small business I ran out of home. That’s when a friend asked me to join her Creative Writer’s Group.
At first, I wrote a few memoirs, tried poetry, and experimented with short stories. Those fictional short stories were where I found my passion for writing.
They led me to write and publish four novels: The Rocking Horse, Hush Girl: It’s Only a Dream, and a two-book series, Never Waste Tears and Never Waste Dreams.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Never Waste Dreams is a sequel (written out of sequence) to Never Waste Tears. My inspiration was from my readers who wanted to know more. Also, I had a strong desire to find out the rest of the story myself because I never know what my characters might do next.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
My writing habits vary with my moods. Since I write character-driven themes and do my own publishing, I don’t have an editor to guide me. Therefore, I strive to become: (1) the character, (2) the writer, (3) the reader, (4) the critic.
I get into trouble when I go out of order and critique and edit as I write. It slows progress. I’ve tried to continue writing without going back immediately. It doesn’t work for me.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Believe it or not, there was a time when I was raising my family that I devoured Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. I couldn’t pick a particular author—I loved them all. Books with details that were concise and meaningful were the perfect read for a busy mother. A next-door neighbor had an extensive collection. He was thrilled to loan them, and I benefitted from his generosity.
What are you working on now?
Currently, I want to concentrate on short stories again. Writing a complete story into only a couple of thousand words can be challenging after writing several novels. However, it’s how The Rocking Horse developed. One scene kept playing over and over in my head. I knew there was more to that story, and I only found the answers when I extended the writing into a novel.
Whenever I find a compelling character, my need to know more about their life keeps me writing.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
If I only knew. My husband and I work together on promotions for my novels. Because I write in different genres, we use a variety of websites along with social media and Goodreads.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Join a writing group so that you might learn from each other. Listen to their feedback on your writing. Help critique them. It’s amazing what one can learn while helping someone else. And never forget to encourage and support other authors.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Write what you love to write—what’s in your heart.
I’ve switched genres several times. I’ve read advice that says that’s wrong. But when I follow what’s in my heart, it’s always about the characters I love and follow.
What are you reading now?
Storm Clouds Rolling In by Ginny Dye #1 in the Bregdan Chronicles Historical Fiction Series.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I never know for sure. I take one day at a time. I write what is in my heart.
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?
A Bible for my spiritual needs. A survival guidebook so that I might physically survive. And two large, empty journals—with pens.
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