Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have probably written about twenty books. So far, only six of the books that I have written have met my standard for publication. Of those six, five are still in print. Three of them are in my current project, The Science Mystery Series. The other two are a book of poetry and a young adult novel.
My latest project, The Science Mystery Series, came to me on the heels of a midlife crisis. I started examining my life and thinking about how I wanted it and my writing to look going forward. I came to the conclusion that I was not yet a successful writer despite writing around a dozen books. I also realized that I might never be successful. If that turns out to be the case, I wanted to work on writing projects that I would feel good about even if they were never successful. So I started imagining writing books that weren't as self indulgent as the ones that I had been writing. I started imagining that I could write something that was fun, entertaining, but also oriented toward social justice and a cause that was bigger than myself.
So I created Fair Science Books. Fair Science Books is a vehicle to publish my fiction whose mission is to increase girls' and women's participation in STEM fields, and to increase general science knowledge. Ten percent of the profits from Fair Science Books get donated to a non-profit supporting girls and women in STEM and in life.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is "A Music Mystery". Like all of the books in the Science Mystery Series, it was partly inspired by the desire to help increase the participation of girls and women in STEM and increase general science literacy. Part of the inspiration was also a desire to infuse a middle grade mystery with a subtle feminism. Finally, I was inspired to create a set of music pioneers from my home state of Minnesota. I don't think that the Minnesota music scene has got the credit it deserves for some of the groundbreaking musicians (not named Prince or Bob Dylan) that started here.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I only know the beginning and the end of my novels when I start. I work in half chapter segments that I almost continuously plan out while I walk out to get a tea.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Vonnegut, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Nancy Drew Series, Hesse, Cervantes, Poe, Langston Hughes, Rilke, Shakespeare, Tolstoy, The Shadow Cipher, The Book Scavenger
What are you working on now?
I'm working on another book in the Science Mystery Series.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don't get in this thinking that you'll get rich and/or famous. Write about something that you love or something that you think is important. Think to yourself, "Would I still believe that my current project was worth doing if at the end of the book (story, poem, etc.) not a single other person ever read it?" If you can't answer yes, then you should choose a different project.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Know that being an independent writer is like running a business.
What are you reading now?
A book on ransomware, another book on computer viruses, and another book on hacking
What’s next for you as a writer?
I plan to continue working on my Science Mystery Series.
What is your favorite book of all time?