In Case You're Wondering
1. Describe yourself in 5 words or less.
I am an introverted extrovert.
2. What kind of world ruler would you be?
An impatient one. And probably not a very good one. I’m an only child, so I like things to be my way or the highway. I wouldn’t be very diplomatic either. I tend to say what I mean, not much of a filter. Probably best I stay off the world stage and stay behind my laptop where I can be as bratty as I want.
3. What are you passionate about these days?
My family. My terminally ill granddaughter—everyday she’s still here and not suffering is the most precious gift. All of our kids are grown and I’m passionate about how their lives are turning out, hoping they make good choices and that they will all contribute something good to the world.
I’m also passionate about traveling, sharing bucket list experiences with my husband. He and I are lucky to be able to travel quite a bit. Seeing other cultures and how other people live is life changing. Opens up a whole new way of thinking. It’s good for the soul and the brain.
4. Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
Both actually. The Invisible Heiress might be tougher because the protagonist writes a blog which would be tricky, but not impossible, to transfer to the screen. But definitely The Last Day for Rob Rhino. Very Coen Brothers. It’s what’s popular now. Badly behaved woman, the good characters and the bad aren’t that much different from each other. They’re odd, human and funny. I hope Hollywood is paying attention lol!
5. What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m currently editing my third novel about a disgraced Food Network TV chef who goes back to the backwoods highway town she grew up in. It’s a town that takes care of its own no matter the misdeed. She’s hiding something. It’s written in my usual style, dark and funny. A bit of a departure because it doesn’t move as fast as my first two. It’s a delicious trip that I want the reader to really enjoy.
I’ve also got a couple stories brewing that are still just seeds.
6. How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
In an airport. My husband and I saw a 70’s era porn star lying on the floor. He actually sat next to my husband on the plane. I made twenty quick judgments about the guy and I’d never met him. I realized there was a book there somewhere. I started writing it on the plane.
7. What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I loved these characters. They made me laugh and cry, exasperated me sometimes. But I loved them. I was so sad when it was done.
8. Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?
Rob Rhino is a guy who’s past haunts him and he can’t shake it. He’s known for the size of his genitalia and at his age he’s tired of that. He was re-born on reality TV but he’s a sad man with a painful secret. He meets Claire, who is an obvious addict, and wants to help her. He takes her under his wing even though she kicks and screams the whole way. She’s got a painful secret too. They form an unlikely and touching bond. They each have an agenda that rules their lives.
9. What is your favorite part of this book and why?
The humor. It’s dark but you can’t help but laugh—a guilty kind of pleasure. Then the ending. It’s a fitting one and it couldn’t have ended any other way. But it’s surprising. Even I was surprised.
10. What book do you think everyone should read?
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. I read this novel when I was fourteen. It was the first time I’d thought about another person’s point of view. Teenagers aren’t known for their introspection. I learned that soldiers on both sides of a war suffer, feel afraid, and miss their homes, their families. Enemies are often just like us. It was a great equalizer for me, realizing we’re all human no matter where we come from.
11. How long have you been writing?
Not too long, really—about ten years. I’m a late bloomer. I was mid-forties when I started.
12. What do you think about the current publishing market?
It’s in flux. I think self-publishing, for good and bad, has turned the market upside down. It’s great that anyone can publish a book. There are some talented self-published authors out there that couldn’t break through the barrier of traditional publishing. It makes the playing field more level. It’s bad that everyone can publish a book because the market is on overload and many self-published books aren’t edited properly and aren’t great. So, like everything else it’s got its pros and cons. But with so many novels getting published, self or otherwise, it’s difficult to get traction or to get noticed. The writer has to be very involved in the marketing even with a publisher. And most writers are not great at self- promotion.
13. What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Thinking they’re born writers. I definitely think some people have an inbred interest in it and are naturally better at it than others, but every writer has a lot to learn. Writers have to decide why they’re writing. Do they want to get a traditional or indie publisher? Self-publish? Are they just writing for themselves? If you’re writing to put something out in the world it should be your best and you have to learn to be your best, there are no shortcuts. It’s hard, hard work.
However, you also have to be careful because anytime there’s a “wannabe” market there are plenty of dishonest people out there dying to take your money for “guaranteed” publishing or marketing help, or writing classes. Do the research. Don’t fall for anyone who guarantees you anything.
14. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I would’ve started much earlier. When my mother died a few years ago I found several pieces I’d written when I was younger. I didn’t remember writing them. So I had an interest but never realized it. I didn’t take it seriously and no one encouraged me to take it seriously. I didn’t know anyone who wrote anything for a living when I was younger. So, I’d tell myself to follow my gut and go for it.