Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m an author, freelance journalist, and history enthusiast. I have writing professionally for nearly 20 years, having begun my career at the turn-of-the-century as a newspaper reporter and copy editor, but I began writing fiction when I was a child. I blog on my website about history, the writing process, author interviews, and historical fiction book excerpts and reviews. I am particularly interested in the period 1890-1920 and how WW1 changed the lives of ordinary people.
I am the author of three nonfiction books, contributor to a fourth, with two books – one fiction and one nonfiction — launching in 2019.
My three published books are A Tale of Two Nations (available in five parts and as a complete edition), Enterprising Women: Practical Advice for First Time Entrepreneurs, and Enterprising Women: A Practical Guide to Staring Your First Business. I contributed to When Women Become Business Owners.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
A Tale of Two Nations is my most recent release. I wanted to present a different perspective to World War 1. Since I am a former newspaper reporter and editor, I decided to focus on how newspapers at the time reported the war. Through this lens, I examine events as they occurred, not with the benefit hindsight and analysis.
In our 24/7 news cycle, it is difficult to imagine a time when news reports were often days old, when stories weren’t necessarily confirmed and when colorful language permeated articles. During World War 1, that’s exactly how newspapers in Canada and the United States reported events locally and aboard.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I’m not sure if this qualifies as unusual, but I write all rough drafts by hand. I enjoy the connection between writer and story.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I really enjoy Edith Wharton and the way she wrote about hypocrisy in the Gilded Age. The Gilded Age is one of the eras that I really love, and she lived through it and wrote about it first hand.
What are you working on now?
I am in the process of getting my historical fiction novel, Angel of Mercy, ready for its June 28 launch. I also am working on my next nonfiction book, Murder and Mayhem in the 1910s, for release later this year.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m still learning what works and what doesn’t.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
My advice for new and aspiring authors is keep working at perfecting your craft. The more you write the better a writer you will become. Don’t bog your story down with details that don’t matter or are misplaced in the plotline. Don’t use dialogue tags other than “said.” Keep dialogue realistic. Avoid first person; it narrows your storytelling.
I see many grammatical, punctuation and style errors in indie books, so I would advise either learning these points on your own or using a professional copy editor or both.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Once Angel of Mercy and Murder and Mayhem have launched. I will begin working on new novels. I have two already written, but in rough draft form, so I will begin polishing those. I’ll also make a decision as to which novel will follow those two – I have several ideas – and begin my research.