When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I always loved to read and wrote terrible poetry when I was younger, youth to teen age. When I met and married my husband, a musician, I co-wrote some song lyrics with him. I always thought I would like to write a book. One day, I just sat down and started and the result was Mamie Garrison.
How long does it take you to write a book? Mamie Garrison took me about a year and a half. I think this was essentially because it started out as a very different book. Mamie was a secondary character. The problem was Mamie kept bugging me to tell her story. When I did that, not really even knowing what that story was at first, it all fell into place.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? I am different from many writers in that I don’t physically write every day. In other words, I don’t type everyday. I think of a scene and I run it through my head till it plays like a movie and then usually put it on paper or laptop. This tends to work well for me. By the time I get to typing, it is almost exactly how I want it. Usually. I do not work outside of writing and tend to do my best writing in the morning after Ive had my coffee.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I would have to say again, the fact that I do not write everyday. Most advice I see from other writers is to write every day. It’s always going on in my head, though. I also write in bed and not at a desk. I have to be comfortable for the thoughts to flow.
How do your books get published? I publish independently.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? I write what I care about, what moves me. I have always hated injustice of any sort. I always root for the underdog. I think with “Mamie Garrison” I wanted to show that ordinary people can do the extraordinary when it matters. It’s not how much you do or even what you do, but rather, the fact that you did what you could.
When did you write your first book and how old were you? Mamie is my first book and I am 58. I’ve started a few going back to when I was in high school but never finished them.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I read a lot. Probably at least a book a week. I have done extensive work on my family tree. I still work on it but not as often as I did. I have a granddaughter coming in August and plan to spend lots of time spoiling her.
What does your family think of your writing? They are very supportive. My Mom loves it and has suggested it to her book club. Lol. Gotta love moms. Many in my family have read it and enjoyed it. My husband is very cooperative when I need to be alone to write. I’ve always been a person who enjoys being alone, so there were no surprises there.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? The fact that I could start and finish one. I think the biggest surprise was when reviews started coming in and people were writing such nice things about it. I am so happy people like it.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? Just Mamie, but I am in the process of the second book in the series which will feature some of the children mentioned in the first book. Of course, characters from the first book will reappear. I conceived the idea as a trilogy, but one book at a time. We will see where we go after this next one.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they? On my blog, I tend to mention often, that you need to write what you love, what moves you. If it moves you, it will move someone else. I love Hemingway’s quote about finding the truest sentence you can and writing that. Ask yourself, is this truth, is this important? If it is, others will notice. This can be done in any genre. Truth is truth. Even in fiction.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? I do. I have received such lovely comments and reviews. Most want to tell me they loved the book. Many become enamored of Mamie. She is quite the woman.
Do you like to create books for adults? Yes. I don’t think I could ever write children’s books. Some subject matter is difficult to write about. I try not to step over the line of good taste and write only what is important to tell the story. For me, this works.
What do you think makes a good story? Oh, it has to be the characters for me. If I connect with a character, then the story seems to flow from that. I also like a few unexpected twists when appropriate to the storyline, and some surprises.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? I wanted to be a teacher and I was for a number of years.