Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
1981 when I enrolled in a writing class with Almut McCauley; Spokane Falls Community College.
What makes writing your passion?
I love Montana History, especially those who, despite hardships, lead very successful lives. That is except Grant Hamilton; he is the true character in my book, The Making Of A Con. He wasn't even a successful criminal and never set out to become a criminal. I wrote his story when I was in Ms. McCauley's class. He had been on my crew when I worked at the Montana State Prison; his story became important to me.
How long have you been writing?
Off and on for 40 years. I buckled down and became serious in 2010 when I began writing An Immigrant A Homesteader And Sheep, my Grandparent's story. I did not want their history to be forgotten.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
"What an accomplishment" and as i read through the book, An Immigrant A Homesteader And Sheep, I was even amazed at what I had written. The research that was involved; I asked myself how was I able to put their lives into a book ?
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
Writing Non Fiction has true life characters.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
I can't think of anything that has ever annoyed me when it comes to writing.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I had a difficult time developing the short story book, From Dusk To Dawn In The Wild World. I asked myself if any of the short stories would even be of interest to readers. It took months of thought, both negative and positive before I went forward with putting the book together.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
I wrote Non Fiction and for those wanting to keep their loved one's history, if they can interview parents, grandparents, etc. before they pass. Otherwise those who knew the person or persons can help you put their life in a book.
I haven't a clue how to write fiction. I did write several very short fiction stories for my last book. I love to read fiction, especially civil war and western romances.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Writing is a long way from my dream of becoming a veterinarian.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I have had few and they have been positive reviews.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
It makes me believe that my story was interesting to the reader.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
My life story, Grace, has the struggles and accomplishments that have made me who I am today.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
As a friend of my Grandparents said to me, "You come from good stock." The only book where the character is based on me is Grace, my life story.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
This was so important for the book, Once In A Lifetime Comes A Man. I wrote this book about my husband and my life together, and the cover had to be perfect.
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 visiting with those who have read my books.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
I am Thankful.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
No. When I read each book I am in awe of the history, etc. that is in each book. I could not write any of them again! Each is a Once In A Life Time Event.
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.
I haven't had this happen.
What would you say to your readers?
I hope you find my books interesting; so interesting it is difficult to put the book down.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I live in Kalispell, Montana now. My 5 children are all grown; two have passed away. I have 8 Grandchildren and 6 Great Grandchildren.
What is your day job if you have one?
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
Did you have a happy childhood?
My childhood was very troubled but there were happy times, especially with the horses we had on the ranch.
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
When I worked at the Montana State Prison, an Inmate's life was so interesting I asked him if I could put his life in a book. The Making Of A Con was the result.
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
Our children lack history; their own for sure. My Grandparents were already gone when I wrote about their lives. So I can only hope that parents and grandparents inform their children so they have that history. Then the history of our country and the world is essential. The old saying " if we do not know our history we tend to repeat it." Children are our Hope For Tomorrow.
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
1. To maintain good health.
2. To see my Grandchildren succeed.
3. To live to see Peace Upon The Earth.
What is your favorite music?
Very old songs like Across The Wide Missouri, Jealous Heart, Etc.
Share a secret with us 🙂
I can't think of a secret ! I guess my life has become an open book. Years ago it would have been my Secret Love; and 18 years later he became my husband.