About the Author
I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!
I have been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on my debut novel, Tessa in 2013. Meanwhile, I cranked out a few dozen poems, made countless notes for story ideas, and earned my BFA in Interior Design. I lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; I didn’t want to be who I was and struggled with my own identity for many years. My characters face many of these same demons.
I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.
1. What does your work schedule look like when you are writing?
What is that funny word that starts with sch… and ends with … ule??? I’m kidding. Sorta. Apparently I work better with a deadline… I am not a morning person (AT ALL) and am a slow waker-upper. Add the RA to that and my mornings are not productive (AT ALL.) Once I have my breakfast (sometimes as late as 11:00 or noon!) I wade through my emails; I follow maybe 30 or 40 blogs, and while I don’t always read them or comment, I do share them to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Then I focus on my blog, and send out reminders, interview questions, etc. Then I spend time on my WIP, usually later evening. And yes, I’m up til after midnight most nights. Hey, it’s my body clock—what can I say??? Oh, and I read after I’m in bed.
2. How long does it typically take you to write a book?
Wellll…. I winged it with my first one (Tessa) and started college not long after I started writing. Then after graduation and no grand career in my field, I went back to writing Tessa. That was September, and she was finished the following January. Without a deadline to work toward, the subsequent two books (Clara Bess and Cissy) took about a year each.
Then I jumped into Seasons—and wrote all four in a year and a half! I WILL NOT attempt that number in that short time frame again! Ever!!!
Looking forward, I anticipate 6 months to a year per book. I now have readers waiting for my stories (do not pinch me, I do not want to wake up!!) and will work diligently not to disappoint. And when I’m on point / in the zone I can write approx. 1000 words per hour, and I break every 1000-ish words, then I go back in.
3. Do you have an interesting writing quirk?
Not sure how much of a quirk it is, but I write my stories on my laptop. Period. I do not, nor do I want to, write on a tablet or dictate to my phone. *note: when inspiration strikes, and pen and paper are not handy, I will voice-text note, and email it to myself.
That said, if the story calls for letters or poems (there were plenty in Cissy) those I write by hand.
But for my stories, something about the tactile experience of typing feeds the flow of words. I’ve written numerous scenes while staring out the door, some even with my eyes closed—I really get into character when I’m writing!
4. What inspired the idea for The Whispering Winds of Spring?
This rather goes with the inspiration for the whole series, since it’s ONE | GIANT | STORY. The Whispering Winds of Spring is not only Simone’s story, but it is the conclusion of the series.
Honestly, I had a totally different story in mind when I set out to write this one. LOL The first book in this series, The Long Shadows of Summer, basically set the whole story line in place, and each book added layers (and twists! muwahahahah) to the overall story. I’m a pantzer so I learn much of the story as I go—not so different to how the reader learns as they read!
5. What did you as a writer take away from writing The Whispering Winds of Spring?
With every book I’ve written, my life as an author has become more cemented and solid. If I had to identify one thing from this book, it’s that I write Faith Fiction, and yes, I do believe I’ve coined a new genre. Any of you who have read my books knows that I cannot market as Christian Fiction, no matter how much my faith or the Gospel message shows up in the story.
Simply put, my takeaway is, as is true for each of my main characters, is my identity.
6. What is your current WIP? What can you tell us about it?
Make that workS in progress!! I did include the opening scene to my next story, One for the Price of Two. It’s a story that has been hanging out in my imagination for a long while now, and will be my first attempt at romance. Meredith and Elizabeth are identical twins, so identical in fact that their parents can’t even tell them apart. They play the classic twin pranks, and in the end, they get pranked! It is the first book in a new series, FourSquare (I didn’t know until recently that it would be a series! Already it’s funny… ) Mostly, though, I’m taking a wee bit of a breather…
Meanwhile, I am embarking on kids stories! Some of the neighbor kids have asked me to write them a story, so that’s simmering, too.
Oh! And after FourSquare, another series that has been simmering, The Steppe House, brings back a small character from Seasons. Literally a small character. Agnes Townsend is all grown up and now she has a story to tell.
7, When you are not writing, what other “hats” do you wear?
My degree is Interior Design, so there’s that. Though I’m not employed, I can do concept work if opportunity happens to present itself. Meanwhile, I’ve designed my own dream house…
I love working in the yard when I can, and baking. I play the piano (just don’t have one to play right now… ) I sing, act—love to do my British and Irish accents—and am currently learning Irish. I love love love going for walks, and after my knee surgery later this month (and recovery! LOL) I’ll be able to get out and move around again.
What I love most is spending time with my granddaughters. One lives across the street and I get to see her most every day. The other sweetie gal lives about 50 miles away and I don’t get to see her nearly often enough.
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