What motivates you to write?
An idea whose time has come. - Someone, somewhere said or wrote that. It’s true.
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
What books did you love growing up?
Sneetches; anything by Judy Bloom; The Outsiders; Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Giving Tree -- There are too many to list here.
Who is your favorite author?
I don’t have a favorite author. I enjoy reading Janet Evanovich’s bounty hunter series. John Rector’s style is one I really like. And, I loved reading the Harry Potter series, The 39 Clues, The Graveyard Book, and several other books. I like MG and adult. I don’t read Sci-Fi much, but I do love Sci-Fi movies. I’ve done much of the “required reading” as a writer both during college and as an adult, but if we’re talking about what I pick up as I settle into bed at night, then I choose contemporary authors who help me escape from reality in some way and/or make me laugh.
What book genre of books do you adore?
I love mysteries. I read MG and adult mysteries in my free time. These can be magical-type mysteries like Harry Potter and real-life mysteries like The 39 Clues, or in adult fiction: Janet Evanovich’s bounty hunter series or John Rector’s work.
What book should everybody read at least once?
Are there any books you really don’t enjoy?
Yes. I don’t like fiction that is intended to illicit a specific emotional response a.k.a. crying. I want to be entertained. I want to laugh. I want to be challenged (mystery to solve.) I don’t enjoy reading versions of what I see or read in the news. I want to escape from reality (to some extent) when I read. This doesn’t apply to non-fiction.
What do you hope your obituary will say about you?
She was completely worn out.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I grew up in Omaha, NE. I’ve traveled to almost every state in the US (lived in a few along the way), and to Europe, Mexico, and Canada. Now, I live with my family near Fremont, NE.
How did you develop your writing?
In 2011, I decided to take my writing more seriously. I acquired technical books, took classes, and actually listened to feedback from other writers and editors. This was a big deal for me. Writing has always been easy for me. I didn’t have to work very hard to produce something -- adequate. But, I discovered that some people expected me to write something that was beyond that. And, as Jaime Escalante said: People rise to the level of expectation set. After a while, I began setting my own writing bar much higher.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from observing life. I typically only watch the news in the morning so that I can process through the pain I see. I watch and listen to my children, and more recently, other people’s children. Sometimes, I get ideas from watching PBS or listening to NPR.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
That’s easy: marketing. I love marketing. I own more than one business, and marketing is the most challenging aspect of any of my businesses. (Unless you’re talking about accounting which I hate, but understand is a necessary evil.)
What marketing works for you?
This really depends on the business. For example, in our tea business, attending live events does more for us than anything else, followed by radio. With books, it’s still live events, but not the standard book signing/reading. I like to get creative.
Private investigator Dezeray Jackson hates Florida; she hated it 24 hours after she arrived 5 years ago. Not for any particular reason, really, just a whole lot of little ones — bugs, alligators, snakes, and rude, obnoxious people. Dez thinks a break is in order, then she gets the Millicent James case. All she has to do is follow Millicent’s gamer grandson for a month, which could be as exciting as waiting for water to boil, Dez thinks. But a boring, routine assignment suddenly takes some interesting twists when a much-anticipated pre-release game disappears. It’s a hot commodity that could make somebody millions of dollars. But who?
After two years in the Big Apple, Dez is fed up with cheating spouses and embezzling employees. Convinced that she needs a change, Dez tells her boss that she’s ready to move on. He gives her a farewell gift — one last case, involving a missing artifact. Dez and her partner hit the streets, and soon learn that the missing artifact is something more. To recover it, Dez will enter a world that few know about. Dez thought she’d seen it all … she hadn’t.
When Dez left New York, she didn’t think she’d end up back in Omaha, NE, her home town. But here she is three months later. After stints in Florida and the Big Apple, Omaha was an unexpected, but welcome change. But the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. One evening, after hearing Dez speak to her female self-defense class, a student is killed in a hit-and-run. Dez gets the case, which leads to an unpleasant stroll down memory lane, with a character she’d rather forget, and involvement with some deadly corporate shenanigans.
Eccentric Mayville Toussaint hires Dez to find two men who stole a box from her. Toussaint’s instructions are simple — find the thieves, recover the box, and return it unopened. A dangerous game of cat and mouse, double-dealing and lying place Dez in harm’s way. Dez recovers the box — case closed. But when returning the treasured item, Dez learns that Toussaint has been playing her own game of cat and mouse … with Dez. Toussaint clearly is not who she seems. But who is she?
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Genre - Mystery
Rating – PG-13
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