I am a small animal veterinarian and writer living in southern California in the United States. I love to play frisbee with my golden retriever Savanna. Eighteen Months To Live is my first published book and is available on Amazon. I am preparing to write a series of short books about medical problems in dogs and cats.
What inspires you to write?
One day when I was organizing and cleaning my garage, I decided to look in a box of memorabilia I stored there. I hadn’t looked in the box for many years. The box contained drawings and stories written by my daughter when she was young as well as some things I had written and drawn when I was a little girl.
As I was looking through my memorabilia box, I came upon my mother’s handwritten journal. Her journal was very prominent in the box because she kept it in a bright orange binder. In addition to my mother’s journal, I found a large stack of letters that she had written me during her final months of life. I hadn’t looked at my mother’s journal since immediately after her death.
I started reading my mother’s journal for the second time and I realized that she wanted her journal published so that her story could help and inspire others. I then spent months transcribing my mother’s handwritten journal and letters and finally published them in my book Eighteen Months To Live.
This process awakened a new feeling in me – a desire to write. Writing “gets in your blood.” I wake up every morning excited to work as a writer.
Tell us about your writing process.
Transcribing my mother’s journal was a very emotional experience for me. It made the last months of my mother’s life and everything she experienced fresh and real and very painful. I often experienced actual pain in my entire chest while I was transcribing her journal and letters. Sometimes I had trouble breathing. But I diligently kept transcribing until I had transcribed everything that she wrote. Then I wrote the heartfelt prologue, epilogue, and narration.
Now I have begun working on writing books for my new book series about medical problems in dogs and cats entitled My Virtual Veterinarian. I begin the process of writing each book by collecting all the latest information available about a particular topic and reading all of it while highlighting pertinent points with a yellow highlighter pen. I develop an outline for the book in my mind based on the points that I feel are the most valuable to share with readers. Then I write, check facts, and write some more until I have completed a rough draft. Finally, I re-read the manuscript over and over and over and refine it until I am satisfied that it is the best it can be.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
What advice would you give other writers?
The most important advice I can give other writers is to have your manuscript reviewed by a professional proofreading and manuscript critique service. I have read several books by new authors that had very entertaining stories which were drastically marred by numerous grammatical errors, misspelled words, and inconsistencies. These types of problems make it very difficult for a reader to want to continue to read a book no matter how great the story.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I self-published my first book Eighteen Months To Live and I will self-publish my future books. I found the process to be relatively easy and definitely affordable.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that self-published books are the wave of the future.
What genres do you write?
Memoirs; Veterinary Medical Issues in Dogs and Cats
What formats are your books in?