Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I was born and raised in San Diego, California and earned a BA in English from San Diego State University and an MLS from UCLA. I began my career as a reference and collection development librarian in the Art and Music Section of the San Diego Public Library and then transferred to the Literature and Languages Section, where I had the pleasure of managing the Central Library’s Fiction collection and initiating fiction order lists for the entire library system. Although I also enjoy reading biography, memoir, and history, fiction remains my first love. In addition to the three R’s—reading, writing, and research—I enjoy Scrabble, movies, and travel.
My earliest ambition was to be a “book maker” and I wrote my first story, “Judy and the Fairies,” with a plot stolen from a comic book, at the age of six. I broke into print in college with a story in the San Diego State University literary journal, The Phoenix, but most of my magazine publications came after I left the library to spend more time on my writing
My stories have been published in Eclectica, The Binnacle, The Nassau Review, Orbis, Thema Literary Journal, Verandah Literary & Art Journal, Short Story America, San Diego Writers’ Monthly, The Storyteller Anthology, I-70 Review, 34th Parallel, and the anthologies Short Story America, Vol. 2 and The Captive and the Dead. Four stories, including three as yet unpublished, received honorable mention in the Short Story America Prize for Short Fiction contests. The Wild Rose Press published Seventeen Days in 2018.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The Rebound Effect. The initial trigger came when a response wasn’t made to an apology after a breakup. Teresa responded instead, and that became the first line I wrote. Add in a longtime fascination with sign language, a remark about bondage in an interview with E.L. James, and a dark and stormy night, and the characters, relationships, and plot developed from there.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don’t know if it’s unusual, but I cross out what I’ve scribbled down in my notebook when I’ve used it in the story. It helps make it clear what I haven’t used yet. I consider a lizard my muse and Huxley, a writer mouse from Starbucks, my sometime collaborator.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
A major influence early on was the Williamsburg series by Elswyth Thane. It’s now very dated and politically incorrect, but I still see echoes of it in my writing. My older sister’s stories had a strong influence on me in my teens, when I had been writing mostly Westerns. I’ve also written several captivity stories, including “Rumpelstiltskin,” (published in Eclectica, April/May 2018), undoubtedly influenced by memoirists Jaycee Dugard, Elizabeth Smart, Katie Beers, Amanda Berry, et al.
What are you working on now?
Promoting The Rebound Effect and writing “Moon Shadows,” a story of uncertain length and direction.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I think it’s too soon to tell. I’m still learning where to send review requests and what effect other kinds of promotion have.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Read! Read anything and everything. The more different styles you read, the more easily you will develop your own. Read good writing, but even bad writing can teach you something. Write what you want to write. Don’t worry about writing in chronological or logical order; it can all be sorted out later. Write for yourself and polish for editors. Don’t give up. Sometimes a story will find a home when you least expect it. Learn from criticism, but don’t take it personally.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Richard P. Brickner, in his memoir My Second Twenty Years, said that a novel is an ocean to its author, but a mere drink of water to a reader. It reminds me not to take it personally if a reader doesn’t value my drink of water–he or she may not even be thirsty.
What are you reading now?
Becoming by Michelle Obama
What’s next for you as a writer?
I hope my next Wild Rose Press book will be Guilty Knowledge, a police procedural/interracial romance.
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?
Found and Still Waters by Jennifer Lauck, Against Wind and Tide by Anne Lindbergh, and Ten Years of Freedom by Natascha Kampusch