Thanks for having me.
As a child, I became intrigued with books. At first it was the delight by other worlds existing alongside my own, but soon they became an escape. As a teenager, I wished to disappear into my own imagination. My first experience with writing was with poetry and short stories. In high school, I sent my first submission to a publisher, who planned to showcase writings of the youths in my area. The magazine never saw light due to the lack of submissions, but I received my first letter of encouragement. I continued writing, but life pulled me away from dreams.
In 1999, my father died in a work accident, sending me a wakeup call. I’d given up on my life’s dream. Two years later, I dug into my first novel. With no writing experience, the piece became a learning experience. With the help of other writers, I continued to learn and hone my writing skills. Short stories proved a better method of learning the craft, so I made the temporary switch.
In 2010, I had my first publication, and have been striving forward ever since. 2011 has proved to be a great year with two short story publications and an upcoming publication of my first novella, Escape to Love. This year, I’ve also delved into the editing world and have found this a great supplement to my own writing. I have a variety of stories in submission mode, a novel in progress, and many more projects simmering in my head.
What (if anything) do you find different when writing longer works, such as novels and novellas, as compared to short stories?
Wonderful question! The writing process is the same: brainstorm, rough draft, revisions, and polish.
The biggest differences in the two are the timeline and structure.
A short story timeline usually spans over hours, sometimes days. Its structure is quick and to the point. There’s no room to explore added depth. You have a limited amount of words and you better make everyone count.
A longer piece’s timeline can span from days, months, sometimes years. Its structure is more detailed and involves much more work. The larger word count allows for more exploration, a bigger area to develop your characters and their needs. Not to say you shouldn’t make every word count, but the expanded space allows your imagination a much bigger playground.
Speaking of characters: If you could share a meal with any fictional character, who would you select and why, and where would you dine?
Well, that’s a hard one. I’ve gotten know a lot of characters in my lifetime, and many were wonderful and worth getting know better. At first thought, I would have said Thad Beaumont of Stephen King’s The Dark Half, but then I thought, what would we talk about? So, my answer is Meredith Martin, of Kate Mosse’s Sepulchre. I would love to get a look at those tarot cards painted by Léonie Vernier. I’m sure we’d have an enjoyable conversation. Where? A little coffee shop. Her choice.
Interesting choice. With that in mind, could you introduce us to the main character in your upcoming release, Escape to Love?
My story has two main characters: Constance Spenser and Lawrence Wilder
Constance is a relatively quiet woman, who has sought solitude in a country home with her cat, Angelica. In attempt to find meaning in life, she seeks spirituality and turns to witchcraft. With no talent at the art, she accidently opens a portal to another world. Although she seems very normal, her destiny proves to be more than an average destiny. She’s strong and up for the challenge, any challenge for that matter.
Lawrence is a kind person, but life tragedies have sent him into the arms of the devil. He’s one of the council members. The council controls the people of the village, maintaining a magic free environment, and possesses full power for itself. Lawrence has come to a point where he’s had enough and wants to rejoin normal society, but one doesn’t leave the council. He’s a man with a big heart and many regrets.
Many writers fear or dread losing their work to a digital disaster—some through experience. Do you have a particular method for backing up your work and are you regular in your backup efforts?
Luckily, I’ve yet to experience such a tragedy. I do back up regularly to two flash drives. So, at the end of the day, I have three copies of my work. I backup once a day to one flash drive and weekly to the other.
It is often said that good writers are avid readers. Do you agree and, if so, what are your reading habits/what do you read?
I do agree, but I am guilty of not being as avid as I once was or should be. I used to devour books, now I nibble. On most nights, I make it a point to read for at least thirty minutes before bed, and if I’m lucky, I get sucked in and read longer. I do, however, read when editing, but for me this is a different type of reading.
My reading material consists of both fiction and non-fiction. I try to alternate between the two. On non-fiction, I read mostly books on writing or tarot/spiritual books. On fiction, my appetite varies. I enjoy Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Kay Hooper, but the list could go on and on. I also explore other genres and have stacks of unread books just waiting to be opened.
As already mentioned, you have a novella soon to be released. Why do you think readers should open it? What should they expect?
Escape to Love is a mix of paranormal suspense and romance. The main reason to open any book is to experience a journey. Readers will enjoy the characters, atmosphere, and experience. Everyone has a limit to how much they are willing to do for love. Would you step into a portal of the unknown?
Would I step into a portal of the unknown for love? Tough question—a good question, Cher. One would like to automatically say “Yes” but who knows for sure.