Tell us a bit about your family. My mother is quite elderly now and has dementia, but when we were kids, she was a fabulous storyteller. My four younger sisters and I loved listening to her tales. I think that’s where I got my drive to be a writer. Now we’re all older and have kids (and grandkids), but the storytelling continues.
What is your favorite food? Pasta! It’s also my downfall. Bread smothered in butter, pasta in any kind of sauce piled high on the plate – they make me swoon. And swell.
What’s your favorite place in the entire world? My favorite place in the entire world is anywhere with my husband, family, friends and my cats near by. I love to travel, adore Manzanillo, Mexico, but I do love coming home.
Who or what influenced your writing over the years? My daughter has been an enormous influence on my writing. She encourages me, inspires me. Even when she was little she was interested in what I wrote. My son is a scriptwriter so his advice and direction have helped enormously. My husband has supported my obsession without faltering once. I’m very fortunate to have a family and friends who encourage me all the way, who offer critiques and spend hours editing, and motivate me to finish.
Have you developed a specific writing style? I’d say I’m a fairly descriptive writer, bordering on “literary”, that is, well-developed vocabulary and expressive prose. I love to write in first person and present tense.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? I often suffer from writer’s block. What I do is this: I sit down at the laptop and I write. I write anything. A journal of my day. An outline of the current book. A diatribe against myself for having writer’s block. Anything that dislodges the obstruction and starts the writing flowing again.
Can you tell us about your main character? Emily Taylor is an elementary school principal. She’s an energetic, passionate person who likes people. She’s very much in love with her husband. Unfortunately her life was touched by tragedy in the past. She has to live with a secret that eats at her and distances her from friends. It also propels her to get involved with the first mystery to protect her privacy.
Who is your publisher? My publisher is Imajin Books, helmed by Cheryl Tardif. It’s a Canadian company out of Edmonton, Alberta.
How much of the book is realistic? Unfortunately too much of the book is realistic. I usually warn people that there is a puppy mill scene based on my niece’s factual experiences with abused dogs. However, I also like to let everyone know that the bad guys get their just desserts.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? I am fortunate to be able to travel and experience the flavor of a country or a city so I can include the sounds, smells and ambiance in my novels. Italy factors into my latest work in progress and Mexico appears in a planned book.
What books have most influenced your life? Two great writers—every single one of their novels—have had a huge impact on me: Margaret Laurence and John Steinbeck. I keep my eye on the quality of their writing as a model. Then I do my best. More recently, I have been influenced by Canadian Louise Penny, both personally and professionally.
Do you have any advice for writers? Don’t stop! If you are truly wired for authorship, you need to finish. You can always go back and fix the mistakes later. That’s what the editing process does. Take the editor hat off and create first. Persevere through the boring/bad parts and get ‘er done! Then get others to critique, edit, proof and advise to make the novel even better. These days you don’t even have to wade through the difficult publisher maze. You can do it yourself, so there’s no fear of never having an end product after all your hard work.
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Genre – Psychological Suspense
Rating – 18+
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