Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
About twenty years ago, I started writing Crossing at Sweet Grass with pen and paper. Eventually, laptops came popular and made writing way more fun.
What makes writing your passion?
I love adventures in all forms. It doesn't matter whether I'm experiencing a great alaskan adventure, reading, or watching an action-packed movie, I enjoy it all. Writing allows me to visit different lands, places, and fantasies in my imagination. I also love researching for stories by reading books or traveling to where my adventures take place.
How long have you been writing?
For about twenty years, but mostly as a hobby.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
I felt a great deal of accomplishment, excited and also sad because publishing meant I had to leave my characters. I also had a realization of "Oh my goodness, I have to market this book! What do I do now?"
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
My stories, including Alive, Savannah the Zombie Slayer, have a central female character who is on the hero's journey. My female protagonist evolves from young to mature and capable. Although my main characters are self-reliant, they all love men for who they are. Together my characters build a community within my books.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
The high learning curve needed for writing and self-publishing. I like many authors I know really enjoy the writing part but not the marketing part. Another part I've had to mature into is accepting criticism. Usually, it's constructive and helpful but it can still sting.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I just keep writing, even if I think the page in front of me is not very good, I keep typing, and the words and ideas start flowing. I always do several drafts so I don't feel that much pressure to deliver a finished product unti later.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
I write because I must, it's a drive deep within. My goal is to have people who enjoy my books as "my tribe." Luckily, I don't have to make money but of course, it would be great if I did. My advice to a new author is to keep writing and try to work out your brand early.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Stay in the lane, pick one genre! Of course, I'm all over the map when it comes to genres.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Yes I read my book reviews. With bad ones, my feelings get hurt but after a couple of days, I go back and review the comments. Some of them provide helpful insights to improve my writing.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
I feel happy and relieved that readers got into my story and enjoyed the characters. I feel like a bonified storyteller.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Yes but that's all I should say about that because sometimes my characters get into a lot of trouble.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
All my future, present and past stories align with female protagonists who come from the same maternal family line. All my stories are loosely connected and so much of the characters come from my family history.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
The book cover is certainly important in marketing and letting the reader know what kind of book they are getting into.
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 having chats with people who read my stories especially if they have questions about the story.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
I feel satisfied when others appreciate my work because I've worked very hard on my novels.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain. I love his descriptions of the Smokey Mountains and his poetic style.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
My dream is to have a "tribe" of readers who appreciate my stories and as far as the size of that tribe, time will tell. I would like to travel to conferences and lecture about writing. That's my dream.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
No, I have quite a few stories in my head, so I can't see myself going back and rewriting any. I might want to do a screenplay for my zombie series.
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 think I want to ignore them, it's a pretty sad way to live a life to tear someone down just so they can feel better about themselves.
What would you say to your readers?
Thank you for being part of my writing world.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I live in Alaska and am married and have two kids.
What is your day job if you have one?
I retired from the education field a few years ago and now work part-time as a special education teacher. I like to walk outdoors and ski in the winter. The winters are long and dark, so I like to curl up by the fire and write.
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?
I have my second book in the Savannah the Zombie Slayer series, Pursued scheduled to come out December 21st. The third book, The Trail hopefully will be published next year. I have several more books I want to write.
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
The basic skills especially math skills. While computers are useful, there is an over-reliance on them. Students should be able to compute in their head and use their imaginations instead of relying on their phones and games. They are becoming the avatars.
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
1. That I could collect my fan base and do an author's tour around the world.
2. Keep enjoying my health and vitality and life in general.
3. That people in the world could utilize free energy and all the great inventions I've read about.
What is your favorite music?
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