I’ve lived a wild and crazy life, and I blame it all on my husband, Jack. We met when I was thirteen, students in an Algebra I class. I didn’t think much about him except that he was nice. The next year he went away to school, but the year after that, we happened to meet again over Christmas vacation. He took me home for dinner, and when he went back to school a couple of weeks later we agreed that we’d get married “someday.”
Someday was over six years later, and in more than thirty years we haven’t looked back. In that time I’ve worked as a clerk, gift wrapper, computer consultant, librarian, housemother for a cottage of teenage boys, teacher, technical writer, adult educator, truck driver, and a few years ago, (ta-da!) author. It’s all been a blast, but I like to think the best is yet to come.
Q. What do you have the most difficult time writing, plot, dialogue, what? Do you have trouble getting to the end?
I always start with the story idea in mind. I sit down and type and type and type. When I get to about 20-25,000 words I whine that I’ll never make 80,000 words. (Truly, I do.) I have to make myself get to around 40,000. It’s like torture. Then it’s a sprint. I have to make myself stop at 80-90,000 words! For almost every book I've written, I had the ending scene in mind, so I usually know what I'm aiming for.
Q. Where do you get your ideas? Do you find them yourself or do you brainstorm?
I have a ton of ideas that I think would make a good book. I should write them down, but I always think the idea is so good I don’t need to. (*tapping her chin* I wonder how many bestselling ideas I’ve forgotten…?) I get a lot of ideas from country music, and just from driving. Put me in a car and head it east or west, and in a few hours I’ll have three or four story ideas.
Brainstorming is a great idea, though I usually do it after I've started writing, not to get ideas. I have wonderfully creative critique partners, friends, and of course, hubby.
Q. Do you have a particular writing time?
No. I need quiet, but beyond that, anytime is a good writing time.
Q. Do you live vicariously through your characters?
No. Sadly, I like a boring, quiet life and my characters are way too active -- in bed and out.
Q. What would you do if money was no object?
Travel. I'd take lots of trips and then buy a small condo in different parts of the country so I could change locales every three or four months.
Q. Who has had the most influence on your life?
My mother and husband. Ironically, they are very much alike. Both are loving and supportive, and I've been very lucky to know them, to love them and be loved by them.
Q. If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Thor Heyerdahl, Jane Austen, Ronald Reagan and Winston Churchill. These four are all tops in their fields and they are different enough to provide lively and varied dinner conversation. I would have loved to meet all of them.
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