Author Interview with
1) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve never considered myself a writer, not even after the successful publication of my first novel. I will consider myself a writer perhaps after my third book is published. To say that I’m a writer implies that I’m in league with the likes of JK Rowling. Not so. I may be qualified to shine her shoes and get her coffee, but that is it!
I have wonderful stories in my head. Most pass by without leaving their mark in my memory. A few linger – like The Guardian’s Wildchild, which was, in essence, one of my paranormal experiences. It would not give me peace of mind. It practically begged to be told. Reluctantly I sat at the keyboard. Instantly the visions of people, their dilemma, and dialogue took over. It was work to keep pace with the inspirations. I became a slave to the story. A happy slave, as I was energized by the magic that overtook my life for years.
So, at this time, I merely think of myself as a story teller. You should see some of the stories in my head. The romance scenes – oh, oh, I’m perspiring now! And, I don’t think it menopause, again.
2) What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Oh, God. I’m limited to just one. I could lose all my excess weight by writing. I will write all day, given the opportunity, and not eat a thing. The writing will grab me, mercilessly. My body becomes some distant entity that is subservient to my imagination. It’s the passion, the excitement of wondering what is going to happen next in the story. The journey is all that matters for hours.
When I finally tear myself away to do the necessary things, like earning a living, all I can think about is the next line of dialogue, or a new subplot sneaks into my story. It is torture to wait until I’m back to the keyboard. Of course, there were times when I was at my paying job that I snuck in some story telling time. Oh, if the boss knew what I was really doing in my office.
3) Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters?
The characters, I believe, are more important than the plot. If the readers don’t have a ‘feel’ of the characters as being real, the plot will flop. For me to stay with a book, I have to feel I know the depth of the characters beyond what they say and do. And, the characters must go through a growth, become something more than they were at the beginning. The reader’s connection with the characters should carry on even after the last page of the story. The reader can visualize the characters living on, giving the reader the impulse to create an extended story after the end of the book.
Where did Sidney Davenport and Samaru Waterhouse come from? It’s complicated, and surreal. They were, I believe, part of the cosmos when I began the story. Perhaps it was they who inspired me to write their story. When writing some dialogue or action, I would turn to the character and look for a response indicating they were pleased with what I was writing or thinking. Okay, I know it’s weird but that’s how I write. I let go of my ego’s need to be the creator and allow some other process or dimension to influence the story’s progress. My job is to word it so the reader can experience it fully.
I did have to start somewhere though. Initially, I fashioned Sidney as a person I would like to be, given enough time and courage. Sam is physically a man who I’m attracted to, and has mystery and strength that engages me to want to figure him out, and then probably fall in love with. That’s how they came to life in the beginning of the book. Then, they took it from there and I followed.
4) What books have most influenced your life?
The first book, about twenty years ago, that shook my world was Gary Zukov’s “Seat of the Soul.” I read all of his books, then moved on to study Buddhism and the Dalai Lama’s books. These led me to become a Reiki Level II practitioner. From there I became a student of Dr. Deepak Chopra and studied various forms of meditation. From pages of philosophy readings, to healing with my hands, to re-evaluating my spiritual beliefs, my life took on a new path and continue to evolve.
Over the past several years I have studied my family’s ancestry and participated in National Geographic’s study of the origins of man. My brother and I sent in samples of our DNA (paternal, maternal) to track our ancestors’ route 50,000 years ago out of Africa to England and Scotland. Now that was a journey! I enjoy program of astronomy and all the earth sciences. The conclusion I have thus far is that we know almost nothing. At least, I’m now aware that I know nothing – in comparison to the reality of our universe and the higher dimensions.
5) What are you reading right now?
Oh, that I had time to read. I started on Gabriel’s Inferno, but had to put it down until my marketing projects were fully developed. I have a stack of other books waiting for my attention. And, I have my second book half completed. It is haunting me, making me feel guilty that I’ve abandoned Eliza and Hashim to their perilous situation with no hope of survival, thus far. There are not enough hours in the day.
6) What do you like to do when you are not writing?
There’s a list. I’ll give you the abbreviated version. Watercolor painting, visit family, gardening, playing with my animals, knit, sit in a forest, play poker (live and online). Please note, house cleaning is absent from that list. I do laundry when I’m out of underwear. Thankfully, my husband likes peanut butter sandwiches.
7) What was the most difficult part of writing The Guardian’s Wildchild?
The most difficult part was cutting out about five hundred pages, then another two hundred. The first draft had one thousand pages. It took me about three years to look at each paragraph and ask the question, “Does this add to the story?” If the answer was no, the delete key was punched. Those weren’t wasted paragraphs, though. There was always something about that material that needed to be understood or acknowledged in other important sections of the story. Many other paragraphs were consolidated into one line. That was the challenge, and a good exercise.
The second most difficult part was giving the book to the world. Up until September 27, 2011, it was mine. Then, like a mother, I had to let my wildchild step into the world, to risk criticism and rejection.
8) What is up next for you writing wise?
Ah, the next inspiration. I had thought that The Guardian’s Wildchild would be my one book. But, no! No sooner that number one was in the hands of Omnific Publishing, another story captured my heart. It still involves the paranormal, on the Light side, and romance, but it is completely different from the Guardians. The story takes place in an Islamic setting. Why? Given the paranoia and anger toward Muslims, I should hit the delete key. However, the story is so full of action, passion, and depth, I must tell it. The working title is “Cursed Angel” which describes a Canadian woman (no, not me – I’m no angel, cursed or otherwise).
I believe this story started when I was a child. Going way back folks, there was the program called the Seventy Seventh Bengal Lancers – my favorite. And then there was Lawrence of Arabia. Magic carpets and mysterious eyes shaded by a cloak fascinate me. So that distant part of the world has an allure for me, tempting me to step into the unknown and, possibly a storm.
This story requires that I engage in a lot of research into the culture of the Middle East and Islamic Law. I have already had on interview with an Imam which was profoundly enlightening. This may seem odd to people who are closed minded, but the more I read about all the major religions, the more I find they are all fundamentally alike. The Imam has provided me with the advice to find the middle ground, a point between two extremes. He loaded me down with books and videos and additional opportunities to chat with the men and women who attend his mosque. The openness and generosity was overwhelming.
I hope to have the first draft completed by this time next year – getting the bones of the story down. Then comes the part of giving the story its soul.
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