Living in Knoxville, Tennessee, I have deep Appalachian roots that involve all the usual elements—moonshine stills, horse thieving ancestors and rumors of illicit banjo pickin’.
Fortunately, due to Dad’s less felonious North Carolina heritage, I make an honest living as an author, freelance writer/editor and graphic designer.
In addition to freelancing, I love great books, provocative indie films, hiking, travel and oil painting. I believe I've made great strides in creatively incorporating the errant hairs of my twin cats—Buck and Bozo—into my still lifes. My loving husband, Tim, is not so sure.
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An Interview with the Author
I have noticed that many readers are aspiring authors. Do you have any tips or advice for them?
As a debut author, the most important lesson I’ve learned so far is to love writing. Don’t love money. Don’t love fame. Love writing.
When did you start writing?
I wrote my first story in second grade, and my teacher made a point of praising my imagination to my mother. At least, I hope it was praise and not a suggestion that Mom seek counseling for me. The story was entitled (misspellings included) “Christoper Columbus and The Miricle of the Hamburger.” I’ve been writing ever since—short stories, essays, professional copywriting, whatever.
What made you decide to write your first book?
Strangely enough it was my own desire to read something new in the paranormal romance genre. I needed a break from vampires and werewolves.
What motivates you to write?
I’m a “discovery” writer. That’s the term I’ve learned describes my particular style of writing. I create as I go along. I don’t know what’s going to happen until I’ve written it—which makes the process a hoot!
Do you ever feel frustrated with your work?
Not frustrated so much as occasionally stymied. Of course, figuring out what happens next in a story is resolved by those great eureka! moments that I love almost as much as white wine!
How do you get over writer's block?
The few times I gotten blocked while writing Curse Me Not, I’d step away from the keyboard for a few days. If that didn’t work, I’d try a glass of Chardonnay, playing with the cats or reading what I’d written so far from the very beginning. That last one always seemed to do the trick.
How do you handle negative reviews of your books?
So far I haven’t had one, but I’m sure one will come along sooner or later. When it does, I’m going to pay it a lot of attention. Reviews—good or bad—are the best thing since chocolate cream pie. What you learn from them can’t be taught in a classroom.
There's a lot of distractions around, especially with social media. How do you block it out and write?
Oh, that’s easy. I’m not social. LOL! Let me rephrase that. I have great friends, a Facebook page and a cell phone, but I prefer chatting with friends in person and using Facebook just to share photos. As to phones, I find their ringing to be akin to fingernails scraping a chalkboard. I turn the blasted thing off. My real distractions come in the form of two very vocal cats and a cutie pie husband.
What do you enjoy, outside of writing?
Oil painting (very therapeutic!), volunteer work at the public library, hiking and Candy Crush (mindless but very relaxing). Oh, and did I mention I had a cutie pie husband?
What's something about you that most people don't know?
I was a journalist in the army for four years. It’s not a secret per se, but the few friends who know were surprised. I think they had a stereotypic view of soldiers that I didn’t fit. I’ve since explained to them the attraction of being around a bunch of men in uniform.
Where do you come up with the names for your characters?
Family members, friends, phone books, player names on PokerStars.com, dreams, anagrams, accidental misspellings . . . I could go on. Lordie, names are fun!
Do you ever write characters you hate?
No. As I mentioned, my characters—good, bad and ugly—are all family to me. Besides, I’m not good at hate. We’re all human. We all make mistakes.
Who is your favorite character that you've written?
Ever? That would be Slapnutto. He’s a dinosaur from a tale I wrote in middle school. But seriously, folks, in Curse Me Not, I identify most with Elzetta, the heroine. She hot flashes at the worst possible time (check!), she’s clueless the other half of the time (check!), she’s insecure (check!), and she has an inner child that’s as healthy as a horse (check! check! check!).
Where did you get the idea for Curse Me Not?
Why don’t we say the pretercosmos, because in truth I haven’t a clue. I will say the concept of auras—of there being a non-physical side to ourselves—has always fascinated me.
Were there any scenes in Curse Me Not that were difficult for you to write?
Yes, two scenes. The difficulty came not from writing but from the fact one scene kept making me horny and the other held so much pathos I’d make myself cry.
Do you have a favorite genre to write? A genre you refuse to write?
I write what I like to read—paranormal romance—but I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at other genres. Although I suppose I would rather gnaw an arm off than tackle a cookbook. I’ve accidently set fire to two kitchens. I’ve learned to stay out them. They’re evil.
What is your favorite book?
Only one? Of all time? Forever? Lordie! Ummm. Okay, I’ll just be impudent. My favorite book is Curse Me Not. Ha!