Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
I started to write in grade school, but my first serious attempt at a book was because I married a drug addict. I was as poor as I could be, and there were few resources to help me or my children. So I wrote "31 Prayers for the Addict I Love." Writing that devotional helped me realize that I could write a novel, and so I began "A Place Called Grace."
What makes writing your passion?
It's my world. I can make the bad guys lose and the good guys win. I collect interesting characters, and my stories often develop in my head when I'm doing something completely unrelated.
How long have you been writing?
I've loved writing since third grade. I've been a published author since 2015.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Satisfaction! I know that book helped many people, which was my goal,
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
I have always met scores of interesting people and I teach middle school. I love to mesh people together to make my characters.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
Marketing is not my strength, and I don't enjoy it.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I just take a day off. If I'm not feeling one story, there's always another to work on.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
Just keep on writing. Try contests or different genres. I have a writing group that meets every Monday, and I'm in Mobile Writer's Guild, which teaches me a lot. I'm always looking for ways to make my stories more entertaining. I'm a huge fan of classic movies, and I pay attention to what makes them great.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Write that book. Finish it, and move on to the next one. You have time.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I only had one awful review. It was obvious the woman never read my book, so I don't know what her review was based on. I like to reread my good reviews because I want everybody to feel that way about my stories.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
I love good reviews. Often my friends who are teachers will tell me they love my books and that is worth a million dollars to me! Also, a former pastor who was a great and intelligent man left me an excellent review. I'll treasure that one forever.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
I always use my life because it's crazy. I teach middle school. If you want drama, it's there.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
My protagonists are strong females. I love being strong, and I hate to be weak.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Since most people buy a book based on the cover and the blurb, I'd say they're equally vital. I keep an eye out for great covers, too.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I need to work on that more. I should be collecting emails and building a list, but I mainly communicate through my website. I need to be more consistent with my posts, too.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
I love attention! It makes me so happy when somebody compliments one of my stories.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
Charles Dickens used his life to tell great stories, and he wrote "A Christmas Carol." I have always loved Christmas and ghost stories and he found a way to combine the two. He has great villains, too. Most of all, he shares my abject hatred of seeing a child suffer.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
I think there are some authors who are so overrated. I'd like to be that big, but I want it to be because my stories are that entertaining, not because I'm the flavor of the month.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
No, there are plenty of new stories that still need to be told.