I’m originally from a small town, but during my marriage, we have moved eight times. Each location provided information to enhance my writing.
When and why did you start writing?
I began writing skits in grade school and years later, I became the Editor of a business newsletter. Because my husband’s transfers, I concentrated on raising our children and volunteering at the different locations where we lived. After retirement, I began to write full-time.
What inspires your writing?
I get many ideas from the newspaper and the media. Fact is stranger than fiction and the local paper is full of unusual plots. I ask, “What if my characters were involved in these situations? How would they react?”
How would you define creativity?
Creativity is turning these stories into fiction.
Do you have any writing rituals to get you in the mood for writing?
I love to listen to Country music when I write. I like to hear the beat in the background. I also dictate the first drafts on Dragon. It makes it easier to put everything I want the reader to know about my characters on paper, then I edit, edit, edit.
If you could, what would you go back and tell yourself as a writer starting out?
As I look back, I wish I would have kept journals about some of the events in my life, especially my volunteering experiences. I recommend new writers take up that habit.
What do you believe make for great writing?
I write stories for the reader’s pleasure. I stay away from politics, religion, and explicit sex. I want my readers to have an ahhh moment when they finish the book.
Which writers have influenced your writing?
I am a fan of Debbie Macomber, and the late Maeve Binchy. I love the way they bring minor characters into the story, while still focusing on the main characters. I admire the way they dribble in descriptions and back-story throughout their books.
How do you measure success as a writer?
I measure success when a reader tells me they really enjoyed my book, or that they couldn’t put it down. I’m excited when someone takes the time to write a review.
Have you ever hated something you wrote?
For years, I belonged to a writers group and wrote a short story every other week. As I go back and read them, some were really good, but a few were so bad that I can’t believe I wrote them. Writing short stories is a good exercise for writers. It keeps you sharp.
What’s your biggest fear as a writer?
Missing typos is a fear I harbor. You can read a manuscript many times and still something might slip by you or your editor.
What traits do you feel make a great writer?
My imagination is my best asset as a writer. I keep a recorder beside my bed for plot ideas that pop into my head in the middle of the night.
Describe your latest book to our readers
The book I’m promoting is: MISPLACED. It has romance, suspense, disappointment, and of course, a happy ending. All of the events take place in a small town. I’ve added many twists and turns to keep the reader turning the pages. I loved writing this book.
‘Gilda Scarlotta is a sophisticated young woman who has been provided with the best life has to offer. She has no idea her parents are involved in money laundering for the mob. When she comes home from college for a surprise visit, she walks in on their murders. She is shot and left for dead, but she recognizes the assassin. The story revolves around Gilda’s new life after she is placed in the witness protection program. She must change her name, leave everything behind, and start a new existence as a small-town teacher. Will she find love? Will she ever be safe?’
What would you like readers to take away from your writing?
I hope readers notice how my characters change. I want them to place themselves in the main characters mind and the setting.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
My tips for young writers are: Write, write, write. Do a character interview so you know exactly how you character acts, thinks, and what they like or dislike. The smallest trait may change the theme of your book. Use strong verbs and lose the adjectives. No head-hopping and write deep point of view.
Can you give our audience a writing prompt to help get them writing?
My favorite writing prompt is to take any topic; decide on a location, and a plot. What will your character do in the situation? What keeps him/her from reaching their goal? Who or what is standing in the way? How will they prevail? It works with any genre. Minor characters play a role, but don’t allow them to take over the story. Don’t tell your character’s life story in the first chapter. Slowly drop hints throughout the book. Most of all, don’t be discouraged. Join critique and writing groups.
What’s next for you?
OLIVIA, and VICTORIA, are stand-alone books, but also part of The Women of Rexford series. I’ve written the next two books and plotted out the fifth.