Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
As a child I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. I also wanted to act. After receiving an MFA in Acting and playing the part of starving young artist in New York, I taught theater classes at a small college in the Mid-West before returning home to the East Coast, where over the years, my husband and I raised two kids and an assortment of dogs. During stints in advertising, children’s media publishing, and education reform in the former Soviet Unions, I wrote whenever I could. My love of early American history has its roots in family vacations up and down the East Coast visiting old forts and battlefields and places such as Williamsburg, Mystic Sea Port, and Sturbridge Village. At the same time, I daydreamed in history classes, imagining the everyday people behind all the dates and conflicts and how they lived.
My best ideas are born of dreams, and I have written a number of stories over the years. My first published novel, Winter Fire, a 1998 Golden Heart finalist in historical romance, was reissued in 2010 by Books We Love, Ltd. I currently have five books available through Amazon.com and BWL.
When not writing, I enjoy my grandson, reading, cooking, photography, playing “ball” with the dogs, and rooting on my favorite sports teams.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“The Partisan’s Wife” is the final book of my “Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy of historical fiction. It was published in February 2013 by Books We Love. This series had its origins in a dream I had many years ago, which prompted an exploration of the story that led up to and then moved on from what at the time was a dark, murky vision. The scene from the dream is nowhere in the story, by the way.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Other than often working nonstop into the wee hours when on a roll, I have no unusual habits. I’ll add that when totally immersed in creative mode, I tend to lose all track of time, and have been known to forget to eat.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
They are many and varied. Fanny Burney and Samuel Richardson in the eighteenth century, the Bronte sisters, Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and Leo Tolstoy in the 19th century. Joyce Carol Oates, Virginia Woolf, Larry McMurtry, and E.L. Doctorow…to name just a few. I have enjoyed and been entertained and inspired by these writers and more.
What are you working on now?
It’s plodding, laborious work, but over the past few years I’ve been working on an epic fantasy between bouts of health issues. I’m enjoying the challenge of writing outside my comfort zone.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’ve found book promotion to be an ever-changing challenge. If something worked five years ago, it either no longer exists or it’s no longer viable today. Sites that used to do promotions for free now charge a minimal fee or an outrageous fortune. Promotion sites and opportunities (such as virtual tours) seem to be popping up as quickly as the books they seek to promote. Someone once told me that the best form of promotion is to keep writing and getting books out there. Other than that, I continue to explore.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write a lot. Rewrite a whole lot more. Find a good critique group or another author who will exchange his/her work with you . If you can’t afford to hire an editor, make certain your book is the best it can possibly be before sending it out into the world.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Writing is rewriting.
What are you reading now?
I’m working my way through an over-stuffed Kindle and recently finished “Roan Rose,” a beautifully imagined historical novel by Juliet Waldron set during the Wars of the Roses.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I have a few ideas that I’m working on. We shall see which one wins out.
What is your favorite book of all time?
That’s a real toughie. I can’t say there’s only one, but “The Diary of Anne Frank” which I read as a young teen, sticks in my mind in a way very few books have then or since.