Seriously, I have been telling stories either to others or simply in my own head for years now. I wrote some in high school, but then put down the pen for about 15 years. Once into my 30s, I began to write again for fun. Over the years I have honed my craft and kept on writing.
Where do you get your ideas?
From my friends and family, of course! Actually, this is partially true because anything and everything is fair game to me. I am a people watcher and a very observant person. One of my favorite places to be is an airport because it is such a microcosm of our larger society. I watch people coming and going; saying hello and goodbye; and experiencing a range of emotion.
Who or what inspires you to write?
I've often said that music is my muse, and it is so true. Music inspires me in so many ways. Sometimes I'm listening to rock and at other times it may be show tunes. But the music will always, always move me or why else listen?
Sometimes it's the way the music makes me feel that inspires me and other times it's the artist or the lyrics, but music never fails to leave me with ideas.
What is your writing process?
I do almost everything on computer. I write only some notes longhand and even then I do have notes on the computer, as well. However, I do keep a notebook handy at all times so I can jot down notes as ideas come to me.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Both, although I am more of a pantser. I focus mostly on characters at first. Characters generally come to me and ask me to tell their story (seriously), so I write down as much about them as possible when I'm starting a new story. I want to know everything I can about my main characters, from their favorite foods to their favorite music. After that, I can sketch out what is going to happen chapter by chapter, but it is a very loose outline.
Why do you write about small towns? Sports?
Because these are all things I know about and I love. I'm an avid sports fan and I've lived in a small town almost all of my life. They say write what you know, at least when starting out, and I've taken that advice to heart.
Who is your favorite author?
Honestly, I have so many, but there are a few authors who inspire me by their writing. These are the writers from which I aspire to learn and who move me: Susan Wiggs, Luanne Rice, Kristin Hannah, Wendy Markham and Nicholas Sparks.
Why did you contribute to the HerStory anthology?
The project intrigued me from the moment I heard about it. As a feminist, I am very interested in women's history. I loved the idea of writing about a strong woman from the past. I chose 1960s Birmingham as the setting for "Not Her Place" because I am also passionate about the civil rights movement.
Audrey and Julian from "Not Her Place" are so memorable. Will we see them again?
Absolutely! I plan on giving them their own novella or novel soon. I adore Audrey and want to tell more of her story. And Julian has a complex life, and I can't wait to write more about him. Stay tuned!