Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
In the fall of 2006.
What makes writing your passion?
I've always been a story teller and a daydreamer. One day I decided to write them down.
How long have you been writing?
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Elated, over-the-moon ecstatic. You wait for that acceptance letter for so long that when it finally comes you jump up and down like you're a kid again.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
I am passionate about creating strong woman protagonists. I made my career in a male dominated field and had to prove myself constantly. My characters live in that same world.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
How much rejection you must endure before you finally find success.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I don't believe in writer's block. It's just an excuse for loss of inspiration. When you're not inspired the words don't come. You walk away until they do.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
Write what you love and success will come. Hire a great editor. I didn't get my work published until I did so. And take criticism seriously, don't be too sensitive, but remember it's your story and go with your gut when you're at a crossroad with your editor.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
You're a writer? Seriously? I thought you were a scientist. You should have started your writing career earlier.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I do, and I've incorporated some comments into improving my writing. Thankfully, I've never gotten a really bad one. Fingers crossed that it stays that way.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Pretty satisfying. Validating...all artists need that in order to combat the Imposter Syndrome...which plagues us all.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
All the time! Many people tell me they remember that exact scene because they were in it. You know the old adage? I'm a writer. Anything you do or say my be used in a story.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
All of them in some ways. Most people who know me say my characters sound just like me: A smart ass.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Almost...a book cover is your first impression. I heard a famous romance author once say that her original book covers were rather tame. She hired somebody to spice them up and sales went through the roof.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I connect mostly through my website/blog. But readers also contact me via email and I'm always happy to respond. It's great to hear how your story affected someone.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
I appreciate that they took the time to reach out. Connecting with the world is one of the main reasons people write. When you start out you're sort of writing into a void and you wonder if anyone will hear you. It's validating to know people do.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
That's a tough one. I love many genres: paranormal, crime thrillers, romance...my favorites are: Dean Koontz, Cherise Sinclair, Jodi Picoult, and John Grisham.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
That's a difficult question because it seems that many who become A-listers can't write anything new: the authors of Twilight, Harry Potter, and many other have published new works that were poorly received. I guess people like, Stephen King and James Patterson have endured, so maybe Stephen King.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
I would not. Each was vital to me at the time. I might feel differently in some ways after it's published but it was right at the time and should remain that way.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
Jodi Picoult. I love the way she writes about important teen issues. Her books always feel important.
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 feel sad for them. They should get a life...or some love. Yes, definitely some love. Love is the most important part of life. Go find it!
What would you say to your readers?
Thanks for reading! Without you there would be no reason to write.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I had a career in the sciences and education, but now retired. I am passionate about teenagers. My first publication was a paranormal trilogy called The Wives of Lucifer, about a teenaged girl who dies and becomes a soldier in a legion of soul savers. She's marked as Lucifer's third wife and his other wives are pissed. Talk about fighting for survival! And you're dead!
I live on Long Island, NY, divorced and I have two adult sons, and three adorable granddaughters. I had to use a pen name so as not to embarrass my sons because my books are too sexy.
What is your day job if you have one?
My last job was as a High School Assistant Principal, thus my passion for teenagers. I am currently retired and writing full time.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I love to create. I've pursed many creative endeavors over the years: silver jewelry making, cooking, macrame, embroidery, sculpting, fusing glass into decorative dishes...and, oh yeah! I used to be an astrologer!
Did you have a happy childhood?
When I was five, my three-year-old brother died of cancer. It shaped my life in ways that I only begun to realize. It's the theme of the first book I ever wrote. Otherwise, I had a great childhood.
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
My niece introduced me to the Young Adult genre and I became obsessed. Those stories were so riveting, fast-paced, snappy dialogue, irreverent, bold, the fight for fairness, which in my experience is the driving for in teens. I found these stories to be more exciting than the "adult" books I'd been reading. Eventually, I thought, I could write a story like that. And I did. And The Wives of Lucifer took form. I was so consumed by the story that I wrote the entire trilogy of 300,000 words in seven months.
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
I have four works-in-progress: A memoir, the fifth book in my series: Unburned where my special agent falls for a firefighter, a contemporary romance where a young medical resident falls in love with a movie star, and a paranormal thriller where a teen witch, who is also half angel, is abducted into a secret society that metes ourtpunishment for criminals on the loose.
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
As a life-long educator I believe the most vital skill is critical thinking. Letting children take charge of their own learning, hands on, with the teacher as a guide. Doing, not telling. Just like writing, show don't tell.
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
People would be more kind.
People would be more tolerant.
People would not be judgmental.
What is your favorite music?
Alternative. I'm a huge Snow Patrol fan.
Share a secret with us 🙂
The sex in my books is way better than in real life.