Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
What did Batman say? “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”
I guess that about sums it up. I am a teacher. I am a writer. I am a fitness instructor/workout psycho. I am an only child, a mother, wife, and friend. I am a fledgling triathlete. I am an animal lover, orange Crosstrek driver, outdoor girl, and Woody Allenesque hypochondriac.
I have written but one book so far. My second novel, tentatively titled “Black Dog” is under construction.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“Beauty and Other Vices” was inspired by a polar bear held captive in a miserable little zoo in a depressed industrial town in southern Massachusetts. The local paper had published a story about the death of this polar bear and I remember feeling both sorrow for the bear and outrage at the people who thought it was a good idea to incarcerate this beautiful creature in this decrepit animal prison. I wondered, not for the first time, why human beings have such an overwhelming need to take beautiful things and destroy them. In that moment, though I didn’t know it yet, my heroine, Miranda Dearborn, was born.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I am a better writer earlier in the day. By about 4 p.m. my brain starts shutting down so that by 7 p.m. I cannot even put together a coherent thought never mind commit it to my laptop. I recently moved my writing desk to the basement so that I can have a dedicated space with a door. I call it my Clubber Lang writing studio as it resembles Mr. T’s workout space in Rocky III. Eye of the Tiger and all of that.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I have been influenced by a smorgasbord of wonderful writers. E.B. White, Stephen King, John Irving, Larry McMurtry, Anne Tyler, Bill Bryson, William Shakespeare, and many, many more.
What are you working on now?
I’m in mad marketing mode with “Beauty and Other Vices” as well as trying to keep up with my blog and writing my second novel. Oh, and don’t forget teaching the middle school kids.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I downloaded Tim Grahl’s “Launch a Bestseller” and it has been an invaluable road map of how to launch a book when you are nobody.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Be open to criticism (meaning the literary kind, not “hey, your writing really stinks!”). Write and write and write no matter what occurs. Persevere and never give up. Never use adverbs and use the first word that sprung to mind – it’s probably the best.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Do or do not, there is no try.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading “Wool” by Hugh Howey which so far I love. He’s an excellent writer.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Keep on keeping on – write another novel, publish, sell. Write another novel, publish, sell.
What is your favorite book of all time?
I always return to “Charlotte’s Web.” It’s elegant simplicity and perfection of story and language is ageless.