Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a country girl having lived all of my life within five miles of the Missouri River. I began thinking up stories at an early age but I didn't write them down until I was a teenager. I always excelled in classes I could read and write about what I had learned and I knew very young that I would 'one day write a book'. I've actually written at least 8 books. Four of them have been published as the "Birds in Peril' series. One, the only non-fiction, is my autobiography (published by So Ho Press in 1993, Dino, Godzilla and the Pigs). The first book I ever wrote I do not intend to publish and I have another that I wrote before I bought a computer. That one must be rewritten and updated. I plan to do that sometime in the future. There is another I wrote about 2/3 of and have never been able to think of a proper believable ending. One, I've written and rewritten and am working on now. Writing supplements my 'normal' life. That of a woman working with my husband as owner/operator of our family farm; Mom of two grown sons who have married two wonderful women; and Grandma to the two most fabulous kids on earth. More installments for the 'Birds in Peril' series are in the works. I edited the monthly newsletter of the Heartland Writers Guild from 2002 thru 2015. And, I have ghostwritten about a hundred articles for on-line sites. Long before the internet became normal I also had a few articles and poems published in national magazines.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The past several years I've been working/publishing a romantic suspense series collectively titled "Birds in Peril'
"Five women met, fell in love with and married men who aided the arrest and subsequent imprisonment of Sheldon Humsler. Even though the events that disrupted their lives, did not necessarily involve Humsler, they certainly invoked the conviction that one day Humsler would find a way to enact his revenge. All of these women and the men they married are in some way closely connected to Humsler’s arch enemies, Benton Cromwell, T.J. Harvester and Thad Hunt. Because of Humsler, Benton Cromwell’s life and livelihood have become so precarious he now lives as an invalid on borrowed time. However, his friends, T.J. Harvester and Thad Hunt continue to grow in family and in deed. Both are well loved by many. The time is near when a final confrontation with Humsler must occur. Humsler has an accomplice…someone closely connected to Hunt…but who could that possibly be?"
The latest of these was published in 2016. Robin in a Snare
Robin Unaware (Stephanie’s story) Life is constant change, sometimes planned, sometimes instant and devastating. For Stephanie Harvester-Garrett, life takes an abrupt curve when her husband is killed in a car accident. The dream of living a peaceful country life is interrupted by unexpected ghosts of the past, and hatred spawned in the name of love.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I do my most productive writing at night. I'm not sure if that's unusual but it is when I can squeeze out a couple hours of alone time when the phone doesn't ring or my husband doesn't need me to help outdoors.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
My favorite book of all time is Ashes in the Wind by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. I've read all of her books and deeply admire Mrs. Woodiwiss's talent for bringing the reader into her imaginary historical world. I am also a fan of Erma Bombeck. I thoroughly enjoyed Mrs. Bombeck's talent for poking fun at herself at the same time she embellished the most important things in life. I tend to read romance of all kinds as well as paranormal and science fiction.
What are you working on now?
While #5 of the Birds in Peril Series has been put on temporary hold, I am rewriting a story that has been part of me for many years. I cannot say how many times I've rewritten it, but this time I'm determined to get it published. Sweet Pea
"To one man she gave her virginity, to another, she gave her heart. One, she would mourn. With the other, she would share life's triumph and turmoil. With both, she would endure times of love, passion and complete happiness as well as times of despair, confusion, and sorrow. One day at a time—each day, building unforgettable memories."
Set in rural- Missouri, Sweet Pea spans from the late 1960's thru 2010. Sweet Pea is a nostalgic story of growing up; of forging lifelong friendships and family loyalty that supports every life event, good or bad. It is a story of love that binds a man and a woman despite all odds. It is also a story of obsessive hatred and how such hatred destroys not only the innocent but those who hate.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I believe that the more a person can advertise who they are and what they write, the more readers they will obtain. I think interviews such as this are vital to an author's work. I also think websites like these and group memberships (such as Awesome Gang on Facebook and Linked-In, Goodreads) also help promote book sales.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Just do it. No one is going to be able to take those words, that story, out of your head and put it on computer page or paper but you. So just sit down and write it. Don't worry about how many times you have to rewrite. I find that just getting those words written down the first time is usually the most difficult task of the writing process.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Finish it! Write your story, all of it to the end.
What are you reading now?
I tend not to read other books while I'm working hard on a single manuscript.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Publish 'Sweet Pea' and then # 5 'Wise Bold Eagle' of the 'Birds in Peril' Series. Hopefully, both will be published in 2017
What is your favorite book of all time?
Ashes in the Wind by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss