Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m a former middle school special education teacher who splits her time between Portland and a small Eastern Oregon town. I’ve written three books in my multi-generational family cyberpunk saga, The Netwalk Sequence; one book in my high fantasy with a non-European setting, Goddess’s Honor; and a standalone cozy apocalypse.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
I’m in the pleasant position of having two new books out this winter. The first, Netwalk’s Children, is the third book in my multi-generational family cyberpunk saga, and it’s about what happens when the second generation exposed to technology which allows personalities to go digital comes of age. Oh, and there’s a somewhat crazed imprisoned war machine seeking to escape as well…in any case, my primary inspiration came from thinking about how each generation adapts to new technologies, especially when a domineering matriarch finds a way to keep tabs on the family business after her death.
For my other book, Pledges of Honor, I got tired of reading fantasy sagas set in the same medieval European universe. I wanted to read a fantasy in the inland Pacific Northwest (but not OUR Pacific Northwest), but there’s not anything like that out there. I also was intrigued by the idea of the volatile mixture of politics, divinity, and magic intersecting with the squabbles between Gods and humans–so the Goddess’s Honor series focuses on how the Gods use humans in their wars and rivalries, while the humans seek to manipulate the Gods for their purposes.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Sometimes I take a legal pad into the woods and take notes/do revisions/write while my husband cuts firewood.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Lots! Outside of the speculative fiction genre, early influences included Walter Farley, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Mary O’Hara. Tolkien, of course. More recently, C.J. Cherryh, Kate Elliott (primarily the Jaran series), Jay Lake, Jane Austen, Josephine Herbst, John Steinbeck, Edward Abbey, Hunter S. Thompson….lots of folks. I love good writing of all sorts.
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m finishing edits on a creative nonfiction competition essay and working on the first draft of Beyond Honor, a prequel to Pledges of Honor. I’m also starting to make notes for the fourth Netwalk Sequence book, Netwalking Space, and am working on a couple more short stories.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m still looking. I used to have a much better response when I wrote on LiveJournal, but that audience seems to be fading away. I do have a blog, and I mention things on Facebook, but I’m sadly one who needs to spend more time figuring out how to promote myself.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write a lot. Writing is like building muscle–you need to practice and do a lot of repetitions to improve your performance. Play with your writing and try new things out. There’s always something to learn.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Create and maintain a regular writing habit, whatever that looks like.
What are you reading now?
The Oregon Trail: An American Saga, by David Dary. Research for some Weird West storybuilding I’m doing.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Once I finish Netwalking Space, I’m going to be working on a Weird West series based on the concept that British and American fur trappers plus Native American tribes banded together in the early 1800s to set up the Oregon Country as its own nation independent from the U.S. and Great Britain. With unicorns. And magic. I have several Weird West ideas, not all of them quite in the same Oregon Country world.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Dang, that’s a hard choice. I have so many favorites that it’s hard to pick just one–and I keep adding more favorites the more I read. I’ve found that different books speak to me at different times of my life. Right now I’m finding a lot of local memoirs interesting.
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