Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a Baby Boomer who has wanted to be a novelist from the time I learned my ABCs. I wrote my first book 30 years which was good but not quite good enough for purchase by a traditional publisher. I persevered but life intervened as it does for all of us. For me that included the need to work full-time throughout my adult life, sixteen years as a single mom, a marriage five years into which my husband became extraordinarily ill, and looking out for aging parents. Most of us end up having to do many of these things and more. But anyone with a dream that won’t die keeps that dream alive.
I kept my finger in the publishing world by freelancing on the side and publishing articles in a number of national and regional magazines. But none of those articles were the novel I longed to publish.
In 2009 I signed with my wonderful agent, April Eberhardt. The market was still tough but she landed me a deal with Booktrope Publishing, a hybrid publisher that is representative of a new model of published.
My genre is contemporary women’s fiction – and always with a message to be learned.
I lived on Long Island, New York until 2014 when the expense, crowds, traffic, big house, and lack of jobs became too much to bear. My husband and I and our two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are now happily settled in beautiful upstate Saratoga Springs which offers a fabulous downtown with restaurants as good as any in NYC and outdoor activities for every age in the surrounding mountains, forests and waterways. The winters aren’t much colder than those on Long Island. I think we’re going to stay a while.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My most recent book, The Passion Thief, was published in December 2014. It was inspired by the many long-married women for whom the thrill is gone – and yet they stay. The protagonist, Betty Boomer, is one of these women. Her husband Stan is a good guy and a great provider. It all looks perfect on the surface, but only Betty and Stan can see behind the closed doors of their exquisite house in Oldtown, Connecticut. The lack of sizzle in her marriage leads Betty to drink a little too much and to realize the she has to make a choice: live with the cards she was dealt, have a sizzling affair, and/or make a new life on her own.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don’t think that I do. I’m primarily a morning writer. I prefer to write in a completely quiet environment – my office, the library, or a quiet coffee shop which is pretty hard to find.
Interruptions while I’m writing make me crazy.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I probably read and enjoyed every Nancy Drew book ever written, but when I rad To Kill a Mockingbird in 1964, I suddenly know what a truly great novel was.
Others include Anne Tyler, Anita Shreve, Jeannette Walls, Jodi Picoult, John Grisham, and Sue Miller for the heavy stuff.
For the lighter fiction like I, myself, write Jennifer Weiner, Kristin Hannah, Jane Green, Elin Hilderbrand, Nicholas Sparks, Emily Giffin, and others. Recently the list has grown with the contributions of some amazing new writers to include, Liane Moriarty, JoJo Moyes, Paula Hawkins, and fellow Booktrope author Rachel Thompson.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on my third novel to be published by Booktrope. Geared toward Baby Boomer readers, it has the working title of Hold My Hand. I can almost promise that title will change as both of my previous working titles were changed before publication.
Hold My Hand, like many books that appeal to this demographic, is the story of the one that got away. The female protagonist reunites with her first love via social media forty years after their parting. That is where Hold My Hand does a 180 from the typical book based on this premise wherein the aging couple finally walks off into the sunset together.
Allie has obsessed over Harold for forty years, never marrying, and growing older in the house in which she grew up. Their prom picture still sits on the mantle of her deceased parents’ home. This isn’t love, it’s obsession.
When she reaches out to Harold via Linked In, he doesn’t respond for over a year. When he does, plans for their reunion begin. But conversations and email exchanges with Harold give Allie the strong impression that Harold the man is very different than Harold the boy. Subsequent meetings prove this to be true.
Can two broken people build a happily ever after? The answer is in the pages of Hold My Hand.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t take rejection personally.
Write what you know.
Have a writing schedule, a research schedule, and a social media schedule and follow them.
See quote below.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Never, never, never, never give up.
What is your favorite book of all time?
That’s a tough one to answer. Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary topped the list for many years. But there have been so many fabulous works of women’s fiction written in recent decades, my list of favorites has grown much longer.