Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
I have always loved writing. I began writing poetry and creating greeting cards for Mother’s Day, etc. when I was just nine years old.
It wasn’t until my twenties that I wrote my first children’s story and many others followed. I did not publish any of them until 2013, a few years after I retired from an administrative secretarial position in a school system in Massachusetts.
There was no stopping me after that!
What makes writing your passion?
It makes me feel alive when I sit at my laptop and place my fingers on the keys. They become like lightning bolts of energy and can’t stop tapping away. I get lost in creating my stories.
There is nothing else I do that gives me that jolt.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing since I was a young child but didn’t get serious and begin writing actual stories until I was in my twenties. It has been too many years to count now since then.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Euphoria! I couldn’t believe that I had finally published my first book in 2013! I felt empowered and a wonderful sense of satisfaction at attaining my goal even if it took many years to do it!
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
For children’s books, I create stories around baby animals. I feel that children can relate better to animals that are small like them. I don’t want young children to be frightened or intimated by what they read of is read to them.
For MG/PT/YA I try to create a story around subjects that, though they are sometimes tough, need to be discussed e.g., bullying, unkindness to other with differences, etc. All these books deal with young adults who are struggling to do the right thing.
For 18+ group I write about mysteries, suspense, thrillers, paranormal activity, and clairvoyance or anything else that may pop into my already overcrowded head. The characters in these books are strong-willed, determined but sometimes feeling their way around tough situations.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
I try not to get discouraged about some of the things that can be annoying, e.g, people who read my books don’t always review them, family doesn’t support me as much as I would like (except my husband), and trying to compete with myriad books that are on Amazon and increasing every day.
As an Indie Author I do everything myself along with my husband’s help to create and illustrate my children’s books. I think the most difficult thing to do as an Indie Author is to promote my books. I blog, use social media and some promotion sites to assist me in getting word out there about my work.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I have been fortunate not to have that yet. I don’t want to jinx myself by saying this though!
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
I love what I do. I can’t imagine ever stopping unless my health suffers to keep me from writing. God willing, I will continue to write as long as I can to do the thing I love to do!
I would advise aspiring authors to:
1. Believe in yourself
2. Don’t listen to others
3. Pursue your dreams
4. Write in some form daily
5. Read, read and read some more of other authors’ books in order to learn more and increase your strengths in writing.
6. Don’t get discouraged, keep moving on and never give up!
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
I would tell my younger self not to be afraid of what others think, get yourself out there, and pour your heart into your writing so others can see what you feel.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I do read book reviews. Love the positive ones! Don’t like the negative ones but I do learn from them. I have been fortunate to receive more positive ones so far.
I remember receiving one with no review but with just one star on Goodreads. I was devastated to say the least! But I checked with Goodreads to see if there was a mistake since the person gave one star to all her reviews on everyone’s books.
The best thing for me to do is look at it, then erase it from my mind and move on. That is only one person’s opinion. How important is that to me? I can’t please everyone. I have to ask myself, “Are you satisfied with your work? Then that is all that matters.”
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
I feel empowered to write some more. It’s a wonderful and fulfilling feeling to see that someone out there likes my work.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
I did feature something similar to an experience that I had in one of my short stories. This story was loosely based though. In writing it brought the angst I felt at the time which I’m sure readers could feel.
I do also put myself and others I know or have met in most of my work in some form or another. It’s important to write about what you know to make it more authentic.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
Some of my personality, character traits are in every one of my books in some way or another. In my historical novel I am the narrator. In another romance/clairvoyant novel I am the lead character when I was younger and felt shy and insecure.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Yes, I do think the cover is extremely important to entice the reader to open the book. I have to admit, if I don’t like a cover I will not read the book even if it is a best seller.
My husband creates all my covers and does a splendid job, I think.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I write a lot better than I speak. I guess it is my innate shyness that is still under this older veneer. I smile all the time to hide my insecurities that are deeply rooted from childhood.
I have done book signings in the past before COVID and never had a difficult time meeting and greeting people. Smiling helps to put them and me at ease. In fact, once I get started talking about my books I can’t stop. I feel sorry for the poor people who are polite enough to put up with it.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
I feel honored but a little embarrassed at the same time. It is a powerful feeling to hear someone say something good about me and my work. I become speechless. I utter a lot of ‘thank you’s.’’
Who is your favorite author? Why?
I love to read and have so many favorites - Mary Higgins Clark (RIP), Jeffrey Archer, John Grisham, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Harlan Coben, to name a few.
They are powerful writers who know how to create a story that a reader cannot put down. They create intriguing characters, good and bad, that one loves or hates, and a powerful ending that is unforgettable. They inspire me to be a better writer.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Wow, that is a hard question. I don’t know if I will ever be anywhere near as good as any of them in my ability to write but I would love to be as big as Mary Higgins Clark. Boy, I have a lot of work to do and many more books to write.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
I did rewrite one of them, my first novel. It’s not a good idea to read your books many years after publishing them. My writing had changed, for the better, I hope. When I picked it up to read it again to begin its sequel I find a lot of things that I wanted to change, so I did.
Rereading it helped me to get on the right track to write a sequel. I think I made it better. But I don’t plan on reading any of my 37 books again. It’s too much work and takes away from my current WIP.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
I don’t think picking Mary Higgins Clark is a good thing since she is not here RIP. But I think maybe Barbara Taylor Bradford would be a good switch. (I hope she is still alive.) I love her book, A Woman of Substance.
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 think there was one on Goodreads who labeled all my books with one stars. Ugh! All I can say is, shame on them. They should find something more productive to do and help others not hinder them.
I read and review 5-8 books a month and leave reviews each month on my blog. I never give anyone less than four stars. If I cannot give someone at least four stars I will write them and explain why. I know how hurtful it is to receive them. It has only happened to me twice. Some authors are courteous about receiving this news while others are angry. I have offered to reread a book after they edit it for free or offered my copy editing service to them.
What would you say to your readers?
Thank you for reading, reviewing and supporting me and my work. Please keep reading and I will keep writing. I love to hear from you if you have any questions about my books and welcome your input.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I am married to a wonderful man for 22+ years. I have two children (all grown), three step children (all grown), five grandchildren, three step grandchildren, and two step great grandchildren.
We life in lovely New Hampshire.
What is your day job if you have one?
My day job is writing, writing and more writing. It’s tough but someone has to do it!
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I love to crochet, sew, workout on my treadmill, elliptical machine, tap dance, hula hoop, read, review books and other stuff. There really isn’t any free time. This encompasses all my time. But I do take time to spend with my lovely husband going out to dinner, movies and plays or long walks.
Did you have a happy childhood?
Yes, I did. My family was loving, protective and caring. I have two siblings.
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
Yes, I think my life was difficult in a stressful relationship. I escaped by writing my first novel which kept changing depending on my moods. I kept writing after it was over but in a more positive way. Writing became more of a pleasure for me and not just cathartic.
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
I have published all my books up to this time. I am working on Book 2 of my epic fantasy series. My plan was to complete four more of this series in 2022 but life got in the way and I am still on Book 2. I may get to Book 3 later in the year.
This series is about a fantasy world, kingdoms, wizards, fairies, sprites, evil and good, frightening creatures, and strong characters.
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
I think reading should be stressed for as young as Kindergarten. I believe if you begin children reading as soon as possible and introduce them to a world of words that they will grow to love reading. They will become healthier, stronger in character, more self assured, and pass on their love of reading to the next generation. I think it’s important to bring up a generation of readers and thinkers.
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
1. I wish for good health for me and my family
2. I wish for peace in this world that is free of COVID
3. I wish to sell more books and receive more reviews
What is your favorite music?
Like my writing, I have eclectic taste in music. I love Michael Buble, Josh Groban, ABBA, Billy Joel, Celine Dion, country, Three Tenors, some rock & roll.
Share a secret with us 🙂
Ooh, I never share secrets with someone I don’t know. Ha!