Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
I think I always wrote what could be called stories. I remember writing in middle school and high school. I think I would classify them as scenes, now. What really started me was when I worked in a school system as a teacher of 4th and 5th grade students who were learning disabled. The previous teacher had games to stimulate thinking skills in the students, but my thoughts about learning were different. I took away the games (it wasn't as easy as it sounds) and encouraged them to read, and write, and discuss. But, where should I start. Since they had been working on games, and weren't developing reading and language skills, we had to begin at the beginning. Giving 4th and 5th graders a kindergarten book was an insult to them I thought, so I solved the problem by creating stories for them. I knew I had to include vocabulary for 1st, 2nd and third grade, and I did that. The students seemed to love the stories and wanted to read everyday. They discussed the stories, wrote about them, and each night I found myself making the activities, I also had to create, tougher and tougher for them. One day I came into class and a group of them was sitting around the reading table in a discussion. I entered, put my things down on my desk, and sat at the table to listen. They were discussing the story we'd read the day before and trying to deduce what will happen on the present day. I heard one student say to another, "Why would you think that? That character hasn't done anything like that so far." I coudn't believe what I heard. Later, during the actual class, the students told me that my stories sounded like real stories that you buy in a bookstore. Thus, the beginning of my writing career.
What makes writing your passion?
I have this need to help people and I do it throug my stories. I like the characters I create. I work at creating characters whom anyone can relate. I like to see my characters grow and change the way we grow and change.
How long have you been writing?
I've been writing for a long time. After I wrote the stories for my class that year when I taught 4th and 5th grade students, I turned two of them into children's books. But I never got them published. I tried a company or two at first, but then I didn't try anymore. That class taught me so much that year and I think I just want those books to be memories of that year.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
I couldn't believe that I actually had a published book. I looked at the name on the cover and it was mine, I could see. I knew then I had to do more.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
The only thing I do is first, a male main character, the next book a female main character, a male, female, etc. I know what I want to write about, and I know the character I need to tell that story. Incidently, I don't see my characters as characters.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
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?
I read my reviews and I do have a few bad ones. I write Christian fiction and many who read the novels don't attend church or are church goers and call themselves Christians, but they don't follow the Christian values the way some do. Those readers have a hard time understanding the story. They don't see that I write from a Biblical point of view. Their comments can be helpful.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
I like to know that readers understand what I write.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
I had it pointed out to me that many of my characters have something about me in some way. I always thought that my characters were nothing like me.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
The book cover is an attention grabber. If a reader is not taken by the cover, the reader is not likely to pruchase the book.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I absolutely do not mind having a chat with my readers. I love to show my books at festivals and book talks for that reason.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Sometime I have to write a scene many times because the point or idea I want to make in that scene is not clear or is absent. After several revisions, (and after the book is published) and someone makes a positive comment about that very scene, it brings me relief in that I accomplished what I set out to accomplish.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
I try not to have a favorite author. There are several authors whose work I love and I enjoy reading their novels.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
No. I didn't rush them. All my books are written and rewritten many times. If anything is not the story I want, I make it the story I want it to be. They have all been edited by a professional.
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.
What would you say to your readers?
I would like to thank them for their support and encouragement.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I live an uneventful life. I am still a teacher, but have progressed to college level where I seem to spend most of my time. I am in a Healing Ministry and volunteer for many things at my church. In my spare time, I enjoy walking, the theatre, dinner with friends , and movies.
What is your day job if you have one?
I am an Adjunct Professor of English and Reading.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
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?
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 🙂