Q: I understand that you had an odd experience while writing Au Naturel?
A: Yes. I started it less than a week after coming out of the hospital for cancer surgery. For some reason I marked the actual date at the top of the manuscript. The odd thing was the rate at which the words flowed out of me. I was averaging about eighteen hundred words a day (probably a low figure for some more prolific writers, but a great rate for me) and I kept it up for nearly three months, finishing the rough draft on Christmas Eve. I’ve jokingly told others that it was an aftereffect of the morphine drip while in the hospital.
Q: How does your typical workday begin?
A: Waking up is a good start. It’s always nice to know that you’re still alive. Though I often realize on awakening that I’d been dreaming a plot, so I could say I was working even before waking. I then roll out of bed, make a detour to the light switch—I almost always wake before daylight, old habits die hard. (Hum, “Die Hard,” no wait, someone’s already used that.) Then it’s straight to the workplace—my desk at the foot of my bed—to turn on my computer. How many people can go to work with eye boogers and bed hair?
Q: So, you start writing right away?
A: No, I usually call up a short quiz or work a Sudoku puzzle to trick my mind into thinking it’s alive. Then I’ll go to work.
Q: What do you consider to be your weakness regarding writing?
A: (laughing) Oh, that’s easy. Spelling. Even though I was sure I wanted to be a writer since I was in grade school, I didn’t have sense enough to realize that all the boring things I was supposed to learn in English classes would be the foundation for creative writing. (Though what good diagramming sentences is, I still don’t know.) If it weren’t for spell check, I wouldn’t get a tenth of the work done that I do.
Q: Of course, spell check isn’t foolproof.
A: No, this fool proves that all the time. Type “there” when you mean “their” and the stupid thing won’t know the difference. But it beats wasting time wearing out dictionaries like I used to do before the PC came along.
Q: So, you’ve been around awhile?
A: If you’re fishing for my age, forget it! As my mother used to say to me, “You’re old enough to know better.” Of course she was usually chastising me for something at the time.
Q: But you make it sound like you’ve been writing for many years.
A: Writing, yes. Selling, no. It was such an incredible high when the first book was accepted for publication, that I should have spent the time cleaning the ceiling while I was up there.
Q: Toward the end of your book, you skimmed over several years of Mary and Max’s life.Could any of those paragraphs be possible sequels?
A: By definition sequels come after the end of a book or movie. Those sections would be in the middle of the time frame of the book. Look at Star Wars. After the first three movies, Lucas went to prequels to make new movies. I don’t know what you’d call something stuck in the middle of a saga. Maybe a “midquel”?
Q: Perhaps you’ve just coined a new word.
A: Oh god, don’t wish that on me.
Q: So, there’ll be no serials with Mary and Max?
A: I wouldn’t rule any out. I guess the logical book would be a prequel. Telling how they met and fell in love. Everyone loves a good romance, right? Especially if it comes with good old steamy sex. Imagine Mary’s first time seeing Max’s equipment. Writing a series of books with a similar theme or set of characters is one way to build a fan base, and there is nothing wrong with that. Every writer, I assume, wants to build one of those on the way to building a big bank account.
Q: Does that mean you write just for money?
A: Oh, heavens no. The lag time from starting a book until the money rolls in (or trickles) can be more than enough time to starve to death. I love to write. Can’t imagine doing anything else with my life right now.
Q: What draws you to write erotica?
A: A depraved imagination, I guess. It’s just fun, letting my mind do what I wish my body could do.
Q: Does that rule out the possibility of anyone special moving into your solitary life?
A: What have you got in mind? (laughs) No, right now I wouldn’t even want a cat. I’ve spent too many years providing for others—not that I’m sorry for my past, I do love my family—but I’m quite content with my one bedroom apartment and my constant companion, my computer. It’s the only soul mate I need for now.
Q: So, what is next for you?
A: I think I’ll go bake a batch of brownies. I’ve a sudden urge for something chocolate.
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