Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?
I have followed two wonderful authors – Maeve Binchy and Fannie Flagg.
Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?
Well, for my children’s books I would have to say A.R. Achnid is my favorite character. A.R. was the reason I started to write, and his character was so much fun. He thought he was human, and wanted to do everything with his human friend, Harold. Even though people thought of him as a scary spider, he didn’t let that get him down. He just went along with his life, enjoying all of his adventures.
Are there any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones and why.
I have been very lucky, and have not had any difficulties with any scenes I have written. My new novel that I am working on now, though, I am having a little bit of trouble getting past one particular scene. It is a little dark, and I am not sure in what direction I want to take the story.
What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?
I have found that finishing a story, especially a novel, is so rewarding. So much time and energy is invested in the writing of the story, and when it finally is finished and comes together to form the feelings you wanted to express, it is a tremendously gratifying experience.
What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?
Well, I am basically just starting out myself, but I would advise anyone who is starting out to believe in what you are writing. In the beginning, when I wrote something, I was always looking for approval from a family member or a friend. One day when someone told me they didn’t care for my book, my husband told me that there are going to be people who love the book and people who don’t care for it at all, but that doesn’t mean that it is a bad story. Believe in yourself is the advice my husband gave me, and continues to give me, so I would pass that on to anyone starting out.
Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.
I do not. The words come to me, and I sit down and start typing away. The whole process for me has been very simple. The only ritual I would say I have is making sure I have cookies available for when I am awake and typing at night. They are soothing to the soul.
Was being an author something you always wanted to do?
Not really. I used to write in high school, but never gave it too much thought after that. Actually, I always wanted to be an opera singer, but, occasionally, I always found myself writing poems or short stories.
If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
My mother, who has been gone for quite a few years now. We didn’t have a great relationship, and I would really love to sit and chat with her, getting to know her as a person. I believe, because of our volatile relationship, that I may have missed out on a wonderful friendship with a wonderful person. That breaks my heart.
Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of your work?
This is from one of my children’s books, Sarah Bella’s Gift of Gold:
When Sarah Bella was a very young girl,
(let’s say, probably about six years old),
her parents gave her a small ball of yarn,
that they said was a “gift of gold”.
Sarah Bella was then told by her parents,
“A life of adventure is waiting ahead.
Wrap your favorite things in this ball of yarn,
and when you sleep, keep it close by your bed.”
They told Sarah Bella that when she grew old,
in her ball of yarn would be memories so dear.
There would be times and places to remember,
from all of her adventures throughout the years.
The following is from my first novel, Sitting at the Kitchen Table with God:
Andrew was gone, and Marianne should have been buried with him. There were two deaths on that day, but only one soul was taken. The other was left to slowly decay in the shell of a lonely woman.
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