When and why did you begin writing?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing something. I love words, love the shifts and turns they make when combined in different ways. As a teenager, I remember writing down the lyrics of favorite songs and obsessing about reproducing them perfectly. I’ve written poetry, short stories, and started countless novels. It took me five decades to finally sit down and finish one, and persist with it all the way to production.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When my urge to write became a need; when I found myself composing a poem to describe how the wind blew one evening, or when a stray thought manifested itself in a story; that’s the moment when I considered myself a writer. It doesn’t matter that few people saw the results of my efforts. All that mattered was that I wrote. Seeing my first novel in physical form made it “official,” but that evidence wasn’t necessary for me to feel like I was a writer. Writers write, whether they’re published or not. So, I guess I’ve always considered myself a writer.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer, and how does that affect your writing?
Unfortunately, I’m a part time writer. I teach school for a living and try to get my novels finished during the summer holidays. I grab any free time I can find to write, usually late at night or those odd days when I find myself alone. Writing part-time greatly affects my writing. I have so many ideas and plans, and writing in fits and starts doesn’t give me much chance to carry through with them. I’m working on it, though!
Do you work to an outline or plot sketch, or do you prefer to let a general idea guide your writing?
I have always admired those writers who use an outline. They seem to have so much control over their story, the characters and where the whole thing is going to end up. I usually start with an outline but then the story overtakes me and when I revisit my outline, it’s usually to find that the story has veered off the path and gone in a completely different direction. So, I start out organized and focused and then the story takes over. I have a general idea of where everything starts and where it will eventually end up, but the getting there is never clear until the story is done.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Read and write as much as you can. Find a mentor to help you along the way. But above all, write.
Can you share with readers a little bit about your latest book?
Reservations is the sequel to Lunch Date. Jack is back, but Meagan isn’t sure she wants to continue their relationship. Before she can make up her mind, however, she and Jack are thrown back into danger and are forced to rely on one another to survive. Along the way, they both have to decide if they are destined to be together or not.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
I guess the pressure to produce a book that my readers would fall in love with again, and to do it in a timely manner.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
It was great getting involved with the characters again and taking their story onward.
What is your next project?
Currently, I have two books I’m working on; a third in the Lunch Date series and a sci-fi series. The science fiction is really exciting; it combines sci-fi – which I love – and westerns – which I also love. My main character has a lot of conflicts to go through and a lot of growing to do if he’s going to survive. I also have started a third in the Lunch Date series because so many people have asked me what happens next, and I don’t want to disappoint. Writing in a series is great; when I started the third book, my characters all greeted me enthusiastically and were eager to get started on a new adventure. Can’t disappoint them, either, can I?