Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
What makes writing your passion?
I’d say that books have always been my passion, especially fiction that engages the imagination. Once I began the journey of writing, storytelling became my way of life. I’ve been doing it so long now (more than 35 years), I can’t imagine a future time when I won’t write.
How long have you been writing?
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Even though it was 1994, I still remember the day the delivery truck arrived with my first Charlie Parker mystery and I ripped into the box of books. It was very much like holding your newborn baby, something I worked a long time to produce and was so excited to actually meet “in person.”
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I really don’t believe in writer’s block. I’ve been stumped for ideas at times (every writer is). I’ve needed to use some of the brainstorming techniques I’ve developed over the years; sometimes a three-mile walk helps me work it out. But I’ve never simply quit in the middle and felt that I couldn’t come up with a solution to a writing dilemma.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
Park your rear in the chair and write something. Anything. Bad writing can be fixed, but a blank page does you no good. If writing is truly important to you, then don’t give up.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
I think many of my books include bits of myself and of people I’ve encountered in real life. Same with events. I don’t think I’ve ever written a novel that was 100% based on real events, but little snippets of real things do, of course, work their way into stories.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
I sometimes think Charlie Parker was me at 30, and Samantha Sweet was me at 50. But neither of them is entirely me. Charlie is younger, braver, and prettier. Sam has a lot of my personality, but then she’s got the magical artifact that came into her life, and she was only mildly freaked out by that. I probably would have gone over the edge with some of the things she has encountered.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Well, since a person rarely chooses a book without seeing the cover first, they’ll never experience the story without having been attracted by the cover. So yes.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I love connecting with my readers! I’ve done mystery author events on social media where we really got some fun conversations going. I send a monthly newsletter and I’m blown away by the love and caring I receive when I talk about what’s going on in my life. For instance, when my dad passed away earlier this year, I received hundreds of condolence messages. My readers are such a wonderful and caring group. I just love them!
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
It’s flattering, of course. I live in a very small town, but even here I’m not often recognized, in a fandom sort of way. Cute story—I stopped in at the motor vehicle office a few months ago and noticed the clerk had one of my books on her desk. When I mentioned it she ran out of the booth and grabbed me in a big hug! How many of us have ever received a hug from a DMV employee? She made my day.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Although I’d love to have as many fans as, say, J.K. Rowling or Dean Koontz, I’m actually very happy just to be me. I don’t love a big fuss, large crowd events, or the type of non-stop travel that would be involved in a mega-author book tour. So, I’m good with just sitting in my office with its view of the forest. I thrive on quiet. My author dream is simply to keep writing good stories and entertaining my readers.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
I actually could have done this at one point. The early books in my Charlie Parker series went out of print for a few years in the early 2000s, then we were able to get them all re-released in 2009-10. I read back through them, wondering whether I would change anything. Although I know my writing has improved and strengthened over the years, I still liked those early books, and I left them as they originally were.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
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.
Nothing. Anyone who feels they need to destroy someone to make themselves feel better is not worth a response.
What would you say to your readers?
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
What is your day job if you have one?
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
Reading is #1, and I try to mix it up with bestsellers in a variety of genres as well as reading new and upcoming mystery authors (recent favorites are Jennifer J. Morgan, J.M. Poole, Susan Slater, Mary Seifert). I also enjoy walking in the forest, faking my way through a piano piece, painting (walls, canvases, small items…it doesn’t matter), baking sweet treats, trying new recipes.
Did you have a happy childhood?
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
There are two unpublished manuscripts that were my first attempts at fiction, long, rambling family saga stories. They’ll never see the light of day, but I am tempted once in a while to go back and reread, to see if they really are as horrible as I now imagine them to be.
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
What is your favorite music?
Share a secret with us 🙂
I’m a huge fan of English tea, and will go to nearly any lengths to get a properly brewed cup of my favorite Luxury Gold No.2, from Marks & Spencer. My husband says I’m a tea addict. I’m not. Probably not. Well, maybe he’s right.