Q: Which comes first: the story, the characters, or the setting?
A: It differs from story to story. Like, if I’m at the gym and some hot guy comes in and starts pumping the dumbbells, I start to wonder who is he? What motivates him? What he looks like without his gym shorts? Could he star in my next story?
Or sometimes when I’m waiting in line at the grocery store and I overhear a person having a conversation on their cell phone, I start to imagine what the other person is saying on the other end. Hopefully my dialogue is a little more interesting than the conversations I’ve heard recently.
You never know where an idea for a story will come from but you have to keep your eyes and ears open to plant the seed in your imagination.
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. My first grade teacher, Miss Hertz, used to chastise me for not paying attention in class; I preferred writing stories rather than listening to her go on and on about counting bears or other first grade stuff that I didn’t care about.
I still do that today, mostly at my accountant’s office.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
A: Write, plain and simple. Also try to write every day so it becomes a habit.
Q: Do you draw on your life’s experience in your stories?
A: Yes and no. Summer Heat was set on a dairy farm in Virginia much like the farm I grew up on. Unfortunately I had no Travis or Hunter on my farm but I had a vivid imagination that kept me hopeful that one day I would find a Travis or Hunter of my own when I got off the farm. I’m now off the farm…and still hopeful.
Q: What are your favorite things to do when you are not writing?
A: I love to go to the gym, jog, travel, read, surf the internet and watch British mysteries set in rural villages full of demented people. Oh, and eat. A lot.
Q: Blondes or brunettes? Boxers or briefs?
A: Yes, yes, yes and yes.
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