= Where Did you grow up?
= What kind of child would you say you were?
Rockford, Ohio, near the Indiana border. I’m a country girl. Although I have lived in Arizona for many years. You can take the girl out of the country, but you’ll never take the country out of the girl---I’m a Buckeye all the way.
LOL! While I would say perfect—in reality, I was a bit ornery according to my brother. In fact, one could say I was a brat if I set my mind to it. Nonetheless, big brother still speaks to me, even though I clobbered him whenever I didn’t get my way.
Even though my parents always said I was too cute to spank, my maternal grandmother told them that no kid was too cute NOT to spank. Grandma High introduced me to the wooden spoon to my backside. I have to smile, because even though she did make us behave, I loved her so much. Her lap was the perfect fit in that old rocking chair. To this day I remember her scent of ‘Tabu’ perfume, which I still wear today, so I always carry her with me.
I love to imagine different scenarios for my stories and characters, then pull from my life experiences—albeit, some are carried to the Nth degree. That way, there is true emotion in what I write, who I portray because of the element of truth. To me, it is the only way to make the read believable and assure the reader feels as if they are in the scene. Otherwise, it is just words on the page.
The main characters of ‘The Allister Saga’ (4-book series) are bits and pieces of me, my first husband, and how I found my way to my present husband after heartache. Also, the children, other family members, and friends are characteristic of my life. Albeit, I have added to the storyline as well. So, from the main characters down to the gossiping little old ladies, I take the reader on a roller coaster ride of love, sadness, tragedy, but always the lesson learned from one’s adversity and how to rise above it all to find happiness again.
While books 1 & 2 are now published, book 3 is nearing publication. I’m now writing the final book. I might add, with great sadness. I think I could go on and on with this series since it is near and dear to my heart.
Because many of my readers like them as well, they do show up in some of my other novels since Zack it the sheriff, and Lone Walker the deputy.
= Why did you choose to become an Indie author?
= What challenges did you face to get your first book published?
I became disabled with fibromyalgia and arthritis in 2004 to the extent I had to quit work and go on disability. Since I was housebound for almost three years, unable to drive unless my husband did, as well as take me to doctor appts, my doctor urged me to find a hobby. From the first page I wrote, I knew I had discovered what I never found in my working days. Writing for me is never leaving my computer—save eating and sleeping. I have a VERY understanding hubby. It’s true about what they say when you find something you love to do—you never work a day in your life.
From writing poetry, to contemporary you have done it all. What do you enjoy writing more?
My favorite genre is historical old west. My favorite authors are Roseanne Bittner, Linda Lael Miller, and Lorraine Heath.
However, I always like to challenge myself, so contemporary is a fun genre to explore. Poetry is another love that I find great passion in.
What encouraged you to try your hand at writing a 'Victorian Era' novel? What is it about?
I love reading Catherine Coulter and Lisa Kleypas, so I decided to put my own twist on a story. I’m enjoying the process. Not sure when I’ll finish it, but I’m having a blast.
= How was your experience of writing a poetry book in collaboration with seven other authors from around the world?
= What is your poem about in "Our United Voices?"
As in my novels, so goes my poetry. I’m such a romantic when I write personal poetry. ‘Our United Voices’ came about from some authors on my writing groups. So, poetry from around the world was an easy evolution, and most satisfying to know folks from around the world. Each other submitted a number of poems, so here is a variety of styles. We’ve talked about writing another book. The best thing about it is the profits go to charity.
= What inspired you to write "Heart and Soul?" Why did you decide to make it a collection of contemporary short stories about life’s ups and downs, laughter and tears?
I started writing short stories just to challenge myself to do just that, versus the length of a novel. It is quite enjoyable for a change of pace.
= What sparked the idea for your book, A Twist OF Fate? How much did you research to set the story in Arizona Territory, 1886?
‘A Twist of Fate’ was simply a product of my imagination. I always fall in love the characters I write about—I adore Kaylee and Grady. I pull on my research from the internet from historical sites. Have hard copies of research as well.
= How many of your family or friends have been the model for one of your characters? Whom was Sergeant Tom Gentry modeled after?
“The Allister Saga’ is very much representative family and isolated events in my life. Although as I said before, exaggerated for storyline purposes. Tom Gentry is a character I created from my imagination, adapted it to my life experiences.
= When you're running low on ideas, what do you do or who do you talk to for inspiration?
This may sound odd too many, but I never run out of ideas and scenarios. My brain is always going full-speed ahead. I also work on 2 or 3 projects at a time. I think it is the only way to keep the creativity flowing. Many times, I’m working on one story, but I will get an idea that fits into another book, so I go back to that novel.
= How did you begin writing The Allister Saga series?
= When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?
When I started writing after my doctor encouraged me to find a hobby, I looked back on the adversity I’ve faced in my life, which at times was overwhelming. From that point on my stories just flowed out of me. I’ve suffered through tragic times, but through it all, even an emotional breakdown—I never gave up. It just isn’t in me to do so. I learned how much strength I did have by reaching within myself. Luckily for me, my husband saw me through my darkest hours, and has encouraged me to pursue my dreams. He is responsible for who I have become. I owe him so much. He’s everything to me. He is the Chance Marley to my Breanna (The Allister Saga—Dare to Dream).
= What are some of your favourite things to do besides read or write?
For me, it always comes down to my family and friends. I’m blessed with a wonderful life that many are not lucky to have. I cherish my twin grandsons who were a miracle to conceive. They light up my world.
Having published 10 books on Amazon, what are your top five writing and marketing tips?
Writing isn’t about being perfect—it is about life and experiences we have gone through in our life, so use them by applying it to your writing.
Also, don’t stagnate with female and male characters. Flesh out secondary storylines. After all, you may just decide another book is in order. Case in point, ‘A Twist of Fate’ and continuing the storyline for Hailey and Sage (The Lucky Spur), a book I’m planning on writing.
Break a few rules along the way. Let your characters get together in the beginning, instead of chasing each other for the whole book. Just because you get them together doesn’t mean they won’t face adversity. That’s the beauty in the creative process.
Don’t be afraid to veer from the -outline- of your original idea. If you don’t, you stifle the storyline and your characters from moving forward to experience new things.
Don’t listen to everyone who comes along and says you should write this way or that way. Develop your own style and stick with it. Nonetheless, if someone offers good advice or food for thought, use it, then lose the rest. Always—always remain true to yourself. Then your story will be authentic.
Do you have anything you'd like to say to your readers? What do you hope they will take away from your books?
All my writing comes from the heart—the romantic in me. I hope my readers enjoys the journey I take them on—realize that no matter the adversity we go through there is always the light at the end of the tunnel, so learn from it—cherish that lesson—then move forward.
= Are you enjoying your experience with AllAuthor so far? Would you recommend this platform to your author friends?
I have enjoyed the short time I’ve been at AllAuthor and don’t plan to leave the site. I love the tools it offers a writer, and the format is fantastic. I’m sold on this site. I’m so pleased I found it.