Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am an author, a children’s book reviewer, raise cows and chickens, lived in Europe for over twenty years eating chocolate and cheese while exploring castles and caves, have four children, drink too much tea, and wish I could sail the world but would get sea sick on the very first day. I’ve written numerous short stories, have a novella Ubook, and am celebrating the release of my debut novel.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My book is titled Music Boxes. I’m not sure what inspired it. I was out in my garden pulling weeds—nasty blackberries with painful thorns—and the image of a ballet teacher staring up at the rows of music boxes on her shelves slipped into my mind. The music boxes were beautiful as was the teacher, but she had a sinister smile on her face. And that’s where the story began to take form.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I always have a cup of tea with me—I am a tea addict. And usually something to nibble on like chocolate. That’s it! I write on paper, on my laptop, on napkins or receipts. I write at the dining room table or in the car or outside next to a small waterfall up in our forest.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
While I don’t know if other authors have really influenced me, I’ve always enjoyed Shel Silverstein’s works. I read many, many books…I’m constantly reading…and love diving into all sorts of worlds and adventures. I suppose each and every story has left its own mark.
What are you working on now?
I always have a few new stories brewing at the same time. As to middle grade books, I’m currently working on a mystery, which is based on true and obscure, real life crimes. It’s humorous, though, and the sleuths are not mystery seekers themselves. They have a wonderful pet, which is full of surprises and probably my favorite character in the book.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Persistence, kindness and promoting others more than they promote me. The writing community is a wonderful group, and they’ve been amazingly supportive even on the promotional end. It’s important, however, to think out of the box and actively seek out the readers who’d be interested in reading the book the most.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Never give up and build a rhino-skin. Publishing is not an easy road and not necessarily quick either. Rejections are part of the journey and should never be taken personally.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
You can’t edit a blank page. There are days—many of them—where writing doesn’t flow as well as it could. For me, it’s hard not to constantly edit while writing, especially when I’m working on the first draft. The magic happens later in the editing. I know that, but I still can’t resist the urge to edit everything right away.
What are you reading now?
Esme’s Wish by Elizabeth Foster. I’m just starting to read this one, but it appears to be a wonderful fantasy already.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Time to write the next story. Or edit. It’s always one or the other when it comes to writing.
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?
My Bible; Dune; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; and How to Survive on a Desert Island (which is really a book)