1) At what age did you decide you wanted to be an author?
I’ve always wanted to write. I was around 8 years old when I read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (My favorite children’s book to this day.) I wrote little pamphlets up and tied them with a ribbon to give away as presents at around that age. I was always an avid reader. Believe it or not, I started writing short screen plays while in the fifth grade, which were actually performed in the auditorium at school. What a rush it was! I then went onto short stories and finally full length novels.
2) Where do your ideas come from? Are they based on your life experiences or do they just come to you?
My ideas come from both. A lot of my characters are based, at least in part on real people I’ve come across. The Wisdom of Evil is one such book. Salem Moon came to me in bits and pieces. I get a lot of ideas while doing mundane stuff, like weeding or cleaning. I carry a personal recorder with me so I don’t forget them.
3) When you began to write seriously, how long did it take for you to finish your first book? (How often did you start and stop?)
The Wisdom of Evil is my first novel. It took me over a year to write, including a lot of revisions and editing. I usually finish, then have two beta readers read it, then go on to edit and revise myself before it ever goes to publisher. So, yes, I do stop and start. If the writing becomes choppy and ceases to flow, I’ll walk away for a bit and come back to it. The novel is also one of two. I had two totally separate ideas for it. I kept the original, which I will work on now. It’s a dystopian thriller called: Last Rites of a Nation.
4) Was it difficult to get your first work published? If so, why?
Yes, it was. I must have queried over one-hundred agents and publishers. Most were very kind and the reasons for rejection were mostly “Current trends” in the market. Lol! I’m a firm believer in making the trends, not following them. While this makes it more difficult to compete with what’s out there now, I feel that writing well; and coming up with truly original ideas is satisfying. I was pleased that World Castle picked it up. Shortly after, I did retain an agent, but with another piece, a novella called “The Last Gift.”
5) In The Wisdom of Evil, Glory isn’t merely afraid of death, she is absolutely terrified of it. So much so, that she will go out of her way to avoid any situation she thinks could possibly cause her death. Do you think that most of your readers will be able to identify with her fear on some level?
I think fear of death is a basic instinct we all share. The phobia Glory suffers from is a very complex and hard to treat problem. This is a very down to earth story and I’m sure readers will be able to identify with an ordinary woman and her family as they go through the worst grief imaginable. In all horror, it’s necessary to isolate the person and that is effectively done because she can’t tell anyone, except her husband who doesn’t believe her. The Grim Reaper won’t leave her alone; she can’t hide and has to fight back.
6) Throughout this story, the reader watches as Glory transforms from a terrified and helpless woman who is controlled by her fear, into a woman who masters that fear in order to fight for what’s important to her. Is that a message you intend for your readers to see or did Glory’s character just develop that way as your story progressed?
Yes, that is the message I wanted to convey. Everyday women can relate to doing whatever it takes, despite their fear to protect their family. Glory’s character did develop somewhat on its own while writing, but I had written a bio for her and an outline for the book, so I knew what would she’d be like for the most part.
7) Considering all of your published works, do you think that they each have a deeper meaning, a positive message that you want your readers to pick up on or do you write your books solely to entertain your fans?
To entertain the reader (I hope) But,all of my works have underlying meanings and messages to them. My favorite writers, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Anne Rice, Dan Brown and Michael Crichton all have deeper meaning and insights into the human condition. And really, I can’t help myself being a psychology major. LOL! I hope to always leave the reader with “food for thought” when they finish my books. I hope they enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them!