How do you celebrate when you finish writing a book? I start writing another one. I’m pretty boring. I don’t even happy dance. I blame it on being born uber white with two left feet.
Have you had any fun fan moments since you became a writer? Fans are my favorite part of the experience. Though honestly, it was a lady at a book club meeting who made me the happiest. This lady was livid. She wanted, Jenna, the MC in “Past Due” to get a good head smack of wisdom to just love the guy…he’s a keeper!! The lady said, “Lord, what’s wrong with her? Why can’t you tell her to just stop being so pig-headed?!” Well, for starters…she isn’t real…
If you could have dinner, coffee, or drinks with a fictional character, who would you choose and where would you go? That’s easy. Maureen Austin!! She’s the grandma in “Past Due”. Her cooking is as rich as her wisdom and she is a native Outer Banker. Heck, I’d gladly make myself at home in her guest room. I don’t think she’d mind!
Do you usually begin a book with a character or a plot? Character. The plots change as I plan. And the planning happens while I do some good, mind clearing menial labor.
Do you have any hobbies or special interests you’d care to share? I’m sadly ungifted. I’ve always wanted to be crafty and artistic, but I’m not. I’m also NOT athletic, so there is no playing ball in my spare time. I would have to say my hobby is writing. If I couldn’t publish or sell, I’d still be writing.
What was the inspiration for your book? It’s usually a thought. In my second book, “Healing Summer”, Mollie’s life is at its lowest possible point. She’s been dumped at the altar, betrayed by a friend, and biopsied for possible cancer, but love and hope is right around the corner.
How difficult is if for you to come up with a title for your books? My kids have always looked for the title of movies in the dialogue, and the first to hear it shouts, “There it is!” So when I am writing, I will type a line and it will jump out at me and shout, “Here’s the title!”
Who would play your hero/heroine in the tv or film version of your book? I was long ago fired from the job of casting my characters for movies. I did an online interview and made some shoddy choices and my niece called me out on it. She is now my character casting director, please direct this question to Kari Dinardo. She’s the casting master and doer of the Pinterest story board.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? Never quit. If you love it, do it. Success shouldn’t be measured in dollars, but in the pleasure it brings you.
What jobs have you had on your way to becoming a writer? I’ve waitressed (fail…always tip well…waitressing is freaking hard!), a cashier (oh my, math and me ain’t friends!), a social worker (miss it!), a mom (it is too a job if you do it right!), and now a writer (I cash checks for words…awesome!)
Did you have any interesting experiences when you were researching your book, or getting it published? “Past Due” is set on the Outer Banks during the time of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse move. As I was writing, it occurred to me that the light was probably extinguished during this time. It was a guess, nothing in my research mentioned it. So, I started cold calling islanders by chance picking names from my Outer Banks phone book. Talk about fun!! They got to share their memories of the move and I got my info. What a win-win.
What authors have influenced your book? John Steinbeck is my hero. Love him. As for influence, I have to thank the amazing Dixie Browning. Ms. Dixie knows how to paint characters! And yes, she is a for real paint and canvas artist too…how clever am I?
Are you a pantser or a plotter? Plotter who reserves the right to change my pants as I go.
Where do you write? Anywhere. I carry a notebook to scribble thoughts in. They are elusive little creatures and I don’t want to let a single one get away.
Aside from writing, what do you do in your free time? I have four teenage boys. In my free time, I enjoy…uh, um…crap! Can you define free time?
Do you prefer print books or eBooks? Both. I love the convenience and affordability of eBooks. But I still need my paper books. Their batteries never die and I won’t get electrocuted if I drop one in the tub. What's in the works for you? Extra pounds! My 40’ish metabolism and addiction to my laptop are in cahoots with my fat cells. It’s a perfect storm for a big bun growing season.