Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I published three novels last year – “The Time Telephone,” “The Shade Ring,” and “VisionSight: a Novel.” Writing is something I’ve been doing as long as I can remember. I wrote my autobiography when I was ten years old, although I was a little disappointed when I ran out of things to say after a page and a half! Now, that’s not a problem. I worked for many years in radio news, anchoring newscasts, doing street reporting and as an editor and producer. My father was in the Army so I got to live overseas – in Japan, Okinawa and Germany. My stories (so far) are about young women struggling to find their strengths. I always include a diverse cast of characters.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“VisionSight: a Novel” is my latest book. It’s about a young woman who suddenly inherits the ability to see the future when she looks into the eyes of people she cares about. I first got the idea while watching my son’s high school soccer game, wondering what all those good-looking teenagers would look like when they were my age. I love magical touches in stories so I ended up using the “seeing the future” motif. Which turns out to be a nightmare for the lead character who can’t stand it when she sees bad things in her loved ones’ futures but can’t do anything to help.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don’t know if it’s unusual but I hear that a lot of people write better in the mornings. I tend to come up with my best ideas in the evenings.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I’ve always loved Jane Austen but my stories are about so much more than snagging a man. Times have changed, thank goodness. Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre” holds a special place in my heart – a tale about a young woman who yearns for love but refuses to compromise her morals. But I like a variety of authors, including some who are popular today. Love John Green (“Looking for Alaska,” “An Abundance of Katherines,” “Paper Towns,” etc.)
What are you working on now?
I’m currently writing a sequel to my Science Fiction novel, “The Shade Ring.” And I’ve already outlined a third book as well, so it’ll be “The Shade Ring Trilogy.” Book two will be out this summer and book three will be published early 2017. It’s set a hundred years in the future when oceans have risen fifteen feet and lots of coastal cities have been submerged.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I had good success with a free ebook giveaway of “The Shade Ring” on Amazon. Lots of downloads. I combined a couple of paid ads with some free ads.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Wow. That’s a toughie. Write what you’re passionate about. If you don’t get excited about your own story, your own concerns or issues, I don’t think anyone else will.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
An editor at a writers conference was asked what the biggest problems she saw in manuscript submissions. She said: “Slow beginnings, rushed endings and sucky middles.” I laughed out loud. But I took her advice to heart.
What are you reading now?
Just finished reading an entertaining memoir about a British guy and his wife who settled on a tiny Croatian island when they retired early. It reads almost like a novel – full of memorable characters. “Notes from a Very Small Island” by Anthony Stancomb.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Once I complete “The Shade Ring Trilogy,” I’ll be revising a novel set in the 1960s. Haven’t settled on a title yet but it’s fun looking back to that tumultuous decade.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Hm. Gosh. Well, I’ve gotta admit – “Jane Eyre” was really special to me, probably because I was 13 when I read it. More recently, I’d have to say “An Abundance of Katherines” by John Green. It was laugh out loud funny. And, I don’t know, “The Girl on the Train” was exciting.