Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’ve worked as a freelance writer and editor for 19 years now. I can’t imagine doing anything else. Reading was my first love in life. I can still remember the day I learned to put the words together and read books. I absorbed everything in sight and then started to pen my own little stories. Of course, I had no idea that would one day lead to writing my own books.
I have written more than a dozen books. Some are still in print and others are not. Most are fiction, a few are nonfiction.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Man of Means is my latest book. Years ago I went on a trip with my parents to Maine and I was fascinated with the widow’s walks on the houses and the history and story behind them. From there, I could imagine an entire town and the hero who owned an old house with a widow’s walk. There comes a point where you start the idea and suddenly the characters seem like real people with histories of their own. At that point, it is no longer my book, but theirs.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I am a severe night owl. I always have been, and I find my best creativity happens in the wee hours of the night. When I was a baby, my mom would try to put me to bed at a decent hour, but she said I would sit up in my crib and laugh and play with my toys or call until she came and got me up. I thank God every day for a mother who never tried to curb who I was as a person, but simply worked at refining it. She let me be as creative as I wanted, even though sometimes it meant I was making big messes.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
One of my favorite books is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I also love Dean Koontz and Stephen King. Koontz because his writing is the best I’ve ever read and King because he sees the world in a different way than most of us do. I like that.
More recently, I’ve read THE WALK by Richard Paul Evans and absorbed the REDEMPTION series by Karen Kingsbury. My reading is extremely eclectic. I might read a bibliography of a past president and then turn around and read a paranormal romance. It just depends on what appeals to me at the moment.
What are you working on now?
I’m finishing up the first book in a new series. It should be out in February of 2016. It is a Christian contemporary romance.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I enjoy interacting with my readers on social media and sending out a newsletter. Over the years, I’ve collected names and emails at conferences, from my website and as I’ve met readers. The ones who want to be on my newsletter list are and I can quickly update them when a book comes out or I have big news.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Never let anyone in this world tell you that you “can’t” do anything. You have something that no one else has – your unique perspective of the world. It is really hard to make a living writing, particularly in fiction, so take the time to plan out how you’ll get there. For me, I also write nonfiction and I do some business promotions/websites. This is my bread and butter during the lean times and gives me a somewhat steady income. That allows me to not stress about bills and to continue to work on my fiction.
Of course, the dream is to write fiction full time, but then again I enjoy the nonfiction, so perhaps not.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall – think of it – always.” ~ Gandhi
What are you reading now?
WINTER GARDENING FOR BEGINNERS. Don’t laugh. I told you my reading was eclectic. I’m also a chapter into PRELUDE by JoAnn Durgin, who is a dear friend of mine. The gardening is because I like little hobbies and I love my little raised beds. The novel is for me for fun.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I have a series of nonfiction books I’ll be releasing into 2015 and several series I want to get out there in the next few years. I plan to continue with the clients I currently have and doing editing work and writing for them. I’m in a comfortable place, earning what I’d like, and still have enough time for family and friends. I plan to just keep on doing what I’m doing.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Other than Jane Austen, I love THE STAND by Stephen King.