Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
I wrote my first children's story when I was 17. I started writing science fiction novels when I was 27.
What makes writing your passion?
I love creating my own worlds and populating it with interesting characters who have exciting adventures.
How long have you been writing?
About forty years.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
It felt wonderful, especially when I received a lot of cards and letters in the mail from people who enjoyed my book.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
My first novel came to me in a series of six dreams that was like watching a movie. The people in the dream became the characters in my science fiction novels. I like strong heroes and heroines.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
At the beginning, how hard to was to get an agent and get published. Now I self publish and I've found it harder to get in bookstore and libraries. Marketing is hard, time consuming and expensive. It also takes away from my writing time.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I've never had writer's block. I get up in the morning eager to write.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
Write for the love of writing and if you can make money at it, that's a gift.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
It's going to be a long road, but it's worth it.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Yes, I read them. If I get a bad one I try to see if there is something I can learn from it. But often the book just isn't a match for the kind of book that reader enjoys.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
It makes me feel like this whole process is worth it. I had a friend text me today who is reading my latest book, Call of the Wind, right now. She wanted me to know how much she enjoyed it. It made me want to keep writing and not get discouraged.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
I often incorporate my own experiences. In Call of the Wind the characters are in the wilderness and attacked by a wild animal. They drive it off, but it keeps coming back. That happened to me when I was in the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota. A bear came into our camp and took our food bag. It kept coming back all night and we had to make a lot of noise to drive it off.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
There is some aspect of me in the main female characters in all my books.
In Red Willow's Quest, Red Willow is a Native American woman studying to become a medicine woman. She strives to grow spiritually and enjoys animals and nature like I do.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
It's not as important as the story, but the novel needs to have the right cover to attract the right readers. I had the cover remade for Star Rider on the Razor's Edge because the designer made it look more like romance than science fiction.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I enjoy hearing from my readers and always answer them if they email. I also enjoy meeting them at book fairs and book signings.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
I recently was asked to speak at a conference and it felt like a validation of my writing career.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
I love so many it's hard to pick one. As a young person I was inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien for the amazing characters and world he created in Lord of the Rings. I also loved Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy. Merlin was a fascinating character and his story is well told.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
I'd love to have a solid following of readers who loved my books and eagerly waited for the next one to come out.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
No, I'm still in the middle of getting out all the books I have drafts for in the Star Rider series. I'm not interested in going back and rewriting any of my old books.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
No one. I'm happy with who I am.
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
I really haven't had that happen.