Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
For as long as I can remember, I've loved telling and being told stories. I enjoy connecting and reconnecting with people, meeting new friends and keeping in touch with the friends I already have.
My writing reflects this love of network. No one exists in total isolation, but in a web of connections to family, friends, colleagues, self at former stages of maturity, perceptions and self-images. Most of my work is fantasy, science fiction and/or mystery, though I write horror, humor, romance, mainstream or anything else that suits the story and character.
Professionally, I'm a member of Southern Indiana Writers, Writing and Promotion (WRaP), and Green River Writers.
My latest release is EEL'S REVERENCE, a fantasy/sf novel about a world in which mermayds are part of the natural order. When "Aunt" Libby, an elderly human priest of Micah, wanders into a coastal area where religion has been taken over by brutal, mercenary "reaver" priests, she and the resident mermayds become pawns in a power game between the priests and the merchants.
Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
Yes. "Nightchild", a horror story which appeared in Issue 48 of Marion Zimmer Bradley's FANTASY magazine, still creeps me out. Ick.
Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
Oh, all the time! They seldom play out in the books the same way they did in real life, but I use actual events from my life and the lives of anyone unwise enough to share stories with me. ~grin~ My husband's aunt (now departed, bless her) told me about a car that blundered onto the train tracks one night and killed the occupants, and I wrote .
How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
I love to research! I should say I love to rummage around and find out details about things. Sometimes a story grows out of what I'm rummaging around in, sometimes I know--or have a general feeling for--some element of the story I want to write and I research that particularly before I start. I often come to places where I think, "What sort of clothes would they be wearing?" and I look into it. For EEL'S REVERENCE, I researched natural dyes, so I could dress the rich people in expensive, difficult-to-acheive colors and poor and/or humble people in cheap, quick, easy colors.
Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
Yes, and it's this: If the question is, "Am I my brother's keeper?" the answer is, "Yes."
Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
I'm a pantser by inclination, but I tend to write myself into a corner without some idea of a plot. I'm trying to train myself to do more plotting before I start writing, so I won't spend so much down-time figuring out how to get from where I am to someplace worth going. As for a story taking on a life of its own, , was chugging along satisfactorily when suddenly it went sideways. I should have cut the chugging part, but I didn't, so it sort of jumps out at the reader the way it did me.
How long did it take for you to be published?
Well.... I started making up stories when I was little--probably pre-school. I had poems and stories published in the high school literary magazine. About twenty years ago, the SIW formed and started publishing an annual anthology, and I've always been in those. . My first major publication was "Nightchild" in MZB; that was in 2000. EEL'S REVERENCE was first published--also in e-formats--in 1992 and was reissued by Echelon Press in 2010. Take your pick. ;)
If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
I would tell myself anything. I'm very happy with where I am and where I've been and all the people I've met along the way. Okay, maybe this: A soft answer turneth away wrath.
Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
Favorite authors now? Too many to list! I find new ones every day!
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
I don't know if they'd be more surprised to know one of my nicknames is MomGoth or that I adore Hello Kitty. Or that I'm a regular church-goer. Or that I think Wicca is way cool.
What is your favorite love scene to write or read? (ie: First kiss, passion after a fight, reunion)
Understated strong emotion.
What is your favorite Valentine’s Day memory?
The kids making us valentines with glitter everywhere. :)
Sweetest gift ever given to you?
Anything. Seriously, knowing someone else holds you in his or her heart and mind is the sweetest gift.
Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.
OmniLit (which includes both Kindle and Nook formats)
Free short stories, excerpts and links to collections
Thank you so much for letting me visit with you! If your readers have any questions or comments, I'll be dropping by throughout the next couple of days to read them and reply.