What inspired you to write?
I've always enjoyed writing, and had a teacher in high school who encouraged me. She was a tough teacher, and students hated her! I was disappointed when I "got stuck" in her class, but after my second assignment, she pulled me aside and said, "You have promise." While I didn't believe her at the time (who listens to their teachers in high school?) I've never forgotten it.
Was your inspiration sudden, or did it take time?
It took decades! I'm not going to tell you how old I am, but I didn't publish my first book until after I raised my son, and I had the idea and character descriptions for my first book, "Missing Elizabeth", for at least ten years before I wrote it.
Did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
I had an outline, but knowing what I know now, it was not a very good one.
Do you work alone, or get encouragement from family and friends?
When I write, I write alone; I prefer quiet. But I'm always encouraged by family and friends, that never ceases. I have a terrific support group.
What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
It depends on the book; right now, I'm finishing my fifth and sixth book at the same time, because of hard drive/backup issues that caused me to lose a lot of data with my fifth. It's been a learning experience, so maybe a blessing in disguise, but also disappointing in that I expected to publish this month and it set me back at least six months.
What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing your book?
Writing itself is enjoyable. "Going to work" means sweats and slippers, a cup of tea, my toy poodle and at least one cat by my side. It's never a chore. Not to mention, receiving the published paperback in the mail, with my name on the cover. That's always exciting!
After the book was published, were you changed?
Oh, yes. Writing is much more than "writing", at least for me. It's research, and editing, and organizing, and revising, etc. Every book is a learning experience, and with knowledge, comes change.
Are you working on a new book at the moment?
Yes, two. One is a romance set in Alaska, and the other is a military suspense.
Do you have any book giveaways, contests or events coming up?
A local business has asked me to hold my first ever book signing here in my hometown once my two new books are published, hopefully this coming summer, 2018.
What gets in the way of your creativity?
Life! There's never enough hours in the day. Ideas come at weird times -- in the shower, on the road, grocery shopping -- and my house is covered in sticky notes. Thankfully, my husband's tolerant.
What strategies do you use to deal with criticism?
You do need to grow a thick skin when you're an author. I learned that the minute I received my first 1-star review. Now I just laugh when I read it. You can't please everybody, and even JK Rowling gets lousy reviews. That's the way of the world, so it can either chew you up, or roll off your back. The choice is yours.
What is your favorite/worst childhood memory?
I don't think I have a favorite, but I have very fond memories of my parents, who are both gone now. My mom was an artist, who left us a legacy with her paintings, and was the mother who all our friends wished they had for a mom. Dad was a pilot; he worked for Pan Am and also had his own private airplane. I have some great memories of just he and I, taking the plane we called "the Papa" because of its call letters, out for a spin.
Do you have a favorite quote?
I have a couple:
"When you reach the top, keep climbing."
"Not all who wander are lost."
What is your favorite show on TV?
Today, probably "Bull", but I think the greatest TV show ever recorded, was "M*A*S*H".
That's easy! "Under the Tuscan Sun"! I've seen it probably 50 times, and it still makes me cry at the end. Once the wedding scene begins in that beautiful stone chapel, oh, waterworks...
Winnie The Pooh. It's the first book I ever received, for my first birthday, and I still have it! My mom used to read it to me, then of course, I read it to myself countless times, and when my son was small, I read it to him. It's fabric covered!
Who would you want to meet if you could? Dead or alive.
Is there a talent you wish you had?
I've always longed to play the piano. I do play the guitar, bass guitar and flute.
What’s something about you that would surprise us?
I make the most killer baked macaroni and cheese you've ever tasted!
Describe yourself in 3 words!
Happy and healthy!