As an English major, my bent has ever been toward the written word; I’m a voracious reader and like to be entertained, so I usually read fiction with occasional forays into non-fiction — biographies and the like. In addition, I read the weekly U.K. Spectator, covering international news, opinion pieces, entertainment and the arts. My resume includes some wonderful jobs, including Playboy magazine at its Chicago home office and another interesting position in the Department of University Graphics and Publications at Southern Illinois University where I worked with writers and editors as well as artists and designers.
When I left Playboy the Editorial Department asked for me and I still mentally kick myself for declining their offer because that was before I realized I wanted to be a writer. Imagine — Playboy Editorial! I could have had a foot in the door of a publishing company — and I turned it down. Duh….
What inspires you to write?
Early in our marriage my husband asked me what I would be if I could be anything I chose. I replied that I’d like to be a writer, never dreaming that would ever happen. Well, he took me at my word and built a studio for me where I could write undisturbed and kept after me until I finally wrote The House of Tomorrow, which would become the first of my Paul Gregory series. That was back in 1997 and I’ve now completely rewritten it, bringing it into the 21st century and cutting 10,000+ words, making it a tighter, better read. So I must admit that it was my darling husband who was my inspiration to begin writing.
Tell us about your writing process.
I made an outline for my first book, but the characters took over and went their own ways, so I no longer bother with outlines. I have a general plan of what events will take place and a vague idea of how the story will end, but try not to force my characters to act or speak in certain ways or they will rebel. For example, in my first Paul Gregory book, the hero turned out to be more deeply flawed than I’d planned (actually making him more interesting) and the guy who was to be a despicable knave turned out to be noble and self-sacrificing.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Oh, yes. I’ve learned to listen to them and welcome their input. They become much more real on their own and create their own personalities.
Who are your favorite authors?
Daniel Silva, Bernard Cornwell, Martin Cruz Smith, P.D. James, Robert Crais and many others write books that I greatly admire. My favorite book of all time is The Golden Warrior by Hope Muntz.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I self-publish. I’m an indie writer because so far no traditional publisher has been interested in taking me on. Aware that time waits for no one, I got on with it on my own.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Things are happening so quickly in today’s publishing world, I just hope I can keep up. I’ve always thought I could never give up reading the printed page of a book I could hold in my hands and put a bookmark in, but I’ve been enjoying my Kindle Paperwhite for a few years now and don’t know what I’d do without it. In my opinion, the trend is definitely digital.
What genres do you write?
Although I don’t read romance, it seems I can write it, so my genres are romantic intrigue and literary fiction.
What formats are your books in?
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