I’m one of those creative types. I love drawing and painting, music (especially listening to Blues bands), reading, writing, photography, and I love being around creative people. They are my fuel.
My husband and I live on a farm near rural David City, Nebraska. We’ve raised two children who make us proud every day. We have a little Schnauzer and a few cats, and all of them think we should wake up at 5 a.m.
I’ve been a professional photographer, managed a small-town Opera House, and been the director of David City’s Chamber of Commerce. Currently, I’m the Part-time Parish Assistant for St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. The other part of my time, I write.
I’ve always been a reader and information junkie, but writing is something I began doing seriously in around 2010. I’m a member of The Nebraska Writers Guild, and I also belong to two critique groups; The Local Muse, and The Coffee Klatch. I truly enjoy all of my writing friends.
Check me out on Amazon. I’ve written eight books. Most are available in print. My writing style dabbles in horror but sits mostly in the chair of suspense.
Tell us about your latest WIP.
I’m currently working on a novel about a small town deputy who tries to save a young woman, but in the process, finds himself pulled into a family story only a gossip’s mind could invent. I’m working this story in my two critique groups. The characters are quirky, complicated, insane and evil. It’s about the evil that lurks in all of us, and our ability, or inability to forgive. It’s about saving others and ourselves, and what we sometimes lose in the process. I’m just fleshing out this story, so it will be a while before it’s ready for reader’s eyes.
Where did the idea for your latest book come from?
My last book, Flames of Rosewood, is the 2nd in the Rosewood Series. As most of my books do, they begin as a small idea and then grow into a bigger story. The first book in the series, Thorns of Rosewood, focuses on four women who “deal” with Naomi Talbot, the mean girl from high school who ends up becoming a mean woman in their lives as adults. The protagonist, Gloria Larson, is searching for her birth mother. She thinks it’s one of the four women. By the end of the book, she finds out who her mother actually is, and the ending leads to the basis for the next book. In Flames of Rosewood, I focus on Naomi Talbot’s evil nature and bring other people who were affected by her reign of meanness. Fire burns away a part of the past but introduces us to new characters and a new direction in Gloria’s life.
In book three, (I don’t have a title yet) Gloria will meet her birth father. I’m not working on this story yet, but it will hopefully be something I write and publish before 2017.
Traditional, Small Press, or Self-publish? Why?
I’m an Independent Publisher. I don’t like the word Self-publishing because it’s most often associated with Vanity presses. That’s not what I do. I do not go to a vanity press and give them thousands of dollars for 10 boxes of books I then have to sell. There’s nothing wrong with that, but as I said earlier, I’m one of those creative types. So I enjoy having control over the book. I am the actual press and I do all the same work any other publisher does. After writing the book, I hire a professional editor, and a professional cover designer. I format the book for both print and digital, and I market the books. I take the book from idea to print. It’s completely my child.
I have never pitched my books to a traditional or small press publisher. I may do so in the future, but for now, I’m enjoying the process of publishing my own work. It’s incredibly fulfilling.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I like Dean Koontz and John Grisham and Stephan King. But John Irving has been my favorite for years.
I’ve also loved Stienbeck’s work and recently, I’ve come to enjoy Blake Crouch. I’m a sucker for a great cover and book blurb, and I read a lot of Indie author’s work.
What makes a bad book? List a few you couldn’t finish.
Too much explicit sex. Gag. I can’t read it if the author feels the need to give me every detail. Seriously. I have an imagination. Let me use it. I have been engrossed in a book and put it down because of a detailed, grimy sex scene. Not for me. At. All.
Lofty exposition that is clearly there to show how superior the author’s intelligence is.
Unbelievable protagonists. I tire of the perfect woman detective.
Of course, bad writing in general. Slow or no progression to an obvious goal.
I don’t want to list specific books, but there is a book out with many shades of a color that I wouldn’t even want to touch. We don’t need that kind of nastiness in the world.
What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most? The least?
The most is the writing when the words flow and the ideas seem to come from the ether.
The least is the marketing.
How do you deal with rejection?
First I try to figure out if I should give it credence. If the bad review has any validity, then I go to the story and think of how I can improve it. This is the glory of independently publishing. I can republish any time and I’m not having to throw away ten thousand garage-books.
If a bad review is just someone enjoying being vicious, then I don’t give it another thought. That’s their problem. I’ve got too many things to do to worry about someone else’s need to lash out.
What type of books do your read for fun?
Oh, I do love a good ghost story. Horror and scary anything is my idea of fun. I love to read suspense. I love a good meaty literary fiction. I enjoy older books — classics. It’s like a little glimpse into how life worked in the past. People were different… or were they?
I must say, I do enjoy reading Dr. Suess or Shell Silverstein once in a while for the playfulness and deep ideas in short poems. I like the rhythmic nature of poetry, especially if there’s wordplay. I really enjoy fairy tales and love to get out my old ChildCraft Encyclopedias and read the nursery rhymes and fairy tales. I think they take me to a childish place where I can allow myself to be more imaginative.
If you were trapped on a desert island with only one book, which one would it be?
The Bible. I would need the strength of God’s word.
What is your favorite TV show (or movie)? Why?
Oh, how to choose.
I have loved The Shining for so long. Great stuff. The Cider House Rules was beautifully done. Simon Birch… sigh. Slingblade… wow. Let’s not forget Shutter Island. The Mist. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Shawshank Redemption.
I just want to walk out of the theater in a daze of deep thought.
TV? I enjoyed Dexter. Love Criminal Minds. Big Bang Theory is a hoot. Then, this shows my age, but The Twilight Zone and Star Trek were big favorites.
Is there anything else you’d like to talk about?
I think if you’re thinking about becoming an author, the biggest favor you can do for yourself is to join a writing organization and meet as many other writers as you can. Network like crazy. You’ll learn, you’ll make friends, you’ll grow, and you’ll feed off each other’s creativity.
How can our readers find you?