I still hope to see more of the world, but of what I have seen, I would say my favorite place was Annecy France. It’s a medieval town with a canal cutting through it and a majestic, crystal blue lake adjacent to it, with a backdrop of the Alps. It’s a fairy tale setting amidst the most magnificent natural beauty I can imagine seeing while standing in one place.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
Currently I’ve only written contemporary general fiction, but I would like to step out of my comfort zone and try writing mystery or suspense.
Do you intend to make writing a career?
I would like to have a career of some sort as a writer, but probably not a typical career. I guess it depends on how I decide to define a career. At this point in my life, I don’t want to spend 40-80 hours a week 50 weeks a year doing anything. My kids are almost all out of the house, and I would like to begin scaling back the time my husband and I spend working and increase the time spent enjoying life together. If working 6 months of the year counts, then yes, writing will be my career.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
When I was writing Shadows of Truth, I knew where I wanted to go and it was a matter of my fingers keeping up with my brain. However, there were a few points where I felt like I had hit a roadblock and couldn’t see how to get from point A to point D. Instead of sitting at my desk pounding my head, I went outside and worked in the yard. The physical activity distracted my conscious thought and allowed my unconscious thoughts to become less tangled. Eventually, something would pop into my consciousness and I would run in and write it as the thoughts flowed. I didn’t correct typos and sometimes didn’t even worry if I used complete sentences. I just needed to gently loosen the idea from my brain.
How much of the book is realistic?
Everything in Shadows of Truth is realistic. People do repress memories for various reasons and to various depths. Sometimes it’s just a matter of having not thought about something for so long you simply forgot all about it. It’s not always as mysterious as you see on TV. Although every single event in Shadows of Truth is fictional, it is all based on real events that happen to people. I would love to say that the violence portrayed in the book never happens to anyone, but it does. The symptoms of PTSD, depression, and being touched by the feeling of God are also realistic.
What makes you happiest?
The happiest moments for me are when my family is together around the dinner table laughing.
How often do you write? And when do you write?
I don’t feel like I write often enough, but I also don’t want it to become a negative experience where I’m beating myself up for not producing fast enough. Some months I write every day (usually in the fall and winter) and some months I can’t even sit still long enough to write a page (summer). I allow the ebb and flow in order to maintain joy and peace in my life.
What social issues interest you the most?
I’m interested in helping people battle addiction and in the last few years I’ve become interested in raising awareness of sexual assault and dealing with the residual effects left in survivors.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Currently my desire is to live around a lake in North Carolina.
It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
I’m still experiencing the steep learning curve of publishing my first novel, so I feel like I don’t have a good answer about a marketing campaign. Whether it’s good or bad, right or wrong, I’ve done a few things the past few months to get exposure. I joined a few author groups; began tweeting and connecting with other authors, reviewers, book clubbers, and bloggers; created an author page at Facebook, Amazon and Goodreads; started a blog; and I even paid for inclusion in Publishers Weekly self published edition (maybe the worst $150). At the moment, I’m doing a re-launch push for the new cover edition that includes book club questions. The biggest part of that effort is a blog tour which includes these author questions, some guest posts, and a few blogger reviews of Shadows of Truth.
Why did you decide to self-publish?
I queried agents shortly after I completed Shadows of Truth, but I was too hasty and hadn’t yet worked with my copy editor. I didn’t want to spend money on editing if that was the first thing an agent would do with me. After about twenty letters, I decided that I would prefer to self-publish for two significant reasons: 1) I could be in control of the timing of the release rather than have it drag on for months or years while an agent shopped it around to publishers, with no guarantee of publication and 2) I could tell the story the way I wanted it told rather than the way someone else wanted it told. I lived and breathed this story so it was far too meaningful to have someone tell me that a character needed to change or that an event needed to be altered or deleted. I hired an editor, learned everything I could about the technical side of publishing, and released my book in time for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April).
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Genre - Women’s Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG-13