Tell us a bit about your family. My husband and I live on our sailboat with our Yorkie, Rio. He’s our child and rules the boat.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? Creativity.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself? Impatience.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? That which does not kills us makes us stronger. Friedrich Nietzsche
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? The many novels I’ve completed and published.
What is your favorite color? Green
What is your favorite food? Pizza
What’s your favorite place in the entire world? The Bitter End Yacht Club in the Virgin Islands.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing? I’m not very comfortable writing love scenes…
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? In 1988, I was reading a lot of StarTrek novels after my company moved me to a new city where I didn’t know anyone. I decided I wanted to write one, so I wrote one in a spiral notebook in pencil. That was when I knew I wanted to be a writer.
How long have you been writing? Since 1988 as a hobby, then to be published in the last 5 years.
What inspires you to write and why? I’ll have an idea pop in my head and I become intrigued and want to explore it.
What genre are you most comfortable writing? Paranormal romance or mystery
Who or what influenced your writing once you began? Reading widely in a variety of genres and voraciously.
Who or what influenced your writing over the years? Same answer
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? With many crafts you can finish them in a day or week. But writing a novel takes months, and to see it published sometimes takes years. You have to have a lot of persistence, patience, and stamina to be in this business.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? Patience and being able to accept suggestions by my beta readers. It’s the first time I’d used a critique group and it really helped in the development.
Do you intend to make writing a career? Yes, definitely. It’s already a second job and I hope will soon be my only job.
What is your greatest strength as a writer? I’m a fast writer and I learn quickly from previous mistakes.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? My writer’s block is always about plotting. If I don’t know where the story is going, I can’t write until I plot it out.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? I’m currently finishing the third book in my steampunk adventure series. When I finish that I’ll be working on the second book in my DraculaVille series.
How did you come up with the title? Memories of Murderis from memories of both the Alzheimer’s patients in the story and the woman who left a diary about the murders committed by a doctor at an old insane asylum on the site of a current retirement community. The memories of the past allow the hero and heroine to solve the present day murders.
Can you tell us about your main character? Maeve McKenna is a witch, descended from a long line of Celtic witches. She binds her powers after killing a man who assaulted her using her witch spells. She needs to heal both mentally and physically. When she’s thrown into solving the mystery of murders at her new clinic, she teams up with the local “hunky” sheriff. He plays a role in her healing and helps her stop the evil threatening their town.
How did you develop your plot and characters? As a nurse practitioner, I’ve dealt with Alzheimer’s patients for years. I always wondered if they existed in another dimension of awareness than the rest of us. They see people and things. Maybe they see ghosts. I used my experience with these patients and the angst of their families to develop those characters.
For Maeve I based her somewhat on my own experiences as a nurse practitioner, since she is also one. Then I looked for conflict in her past that would keep her from using her witch powers. Her love interest will draw her out and give her a reason to readdress her heritage and the importance of accepting her powers.
Who designed the cover? I designed the cover. It’s one of my hobbies.
Who is your publisher? This book was originally published by Crescent Moon Press. When I got the rights back after the term of the contract, I self published it.
Why did you choose to write this particular book? I was really interested in the concept of Alzheimer’s at the time and how their minds work.
What was the hardest part about writing this book? The opening scene is always my hardest part.
Will you write others in this same genre? Yes, in fact I already plan another book that features the GEM’s. They’re Meaves’s mother and aunts. Pearl, Ruby and Opal. Also witches, they provide some comedy and help her solve the mystery.
They’ll be helping other witches in the family as I explore future GEM paranormal mysteries.
For paranormal romance, I also have Dealers of Light out now and DraculaVille – New York.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Two. First, that mental illness, especially depression are much understood even today and those who suffer from this disease are sometimes stigmatized and treated with disdain
Second, that Alzheimer’s patients still have a lot of depth to them and deal with their memories in different ways than we do. They deserve dignity and compassion. It’s a horrible illness, not just for the patients, but for the families as well.
How much of the book is realistic? The clinical element is very real. The history of 19th century insane asylums is also very real regarding the horrors of treatment and how people entered them and never returned to a normal life when today they might have had a different life.
Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot? Absolutely. I’m a nurse practitioner in a retirement community and so is Maeve. I’ve suffered from depression most of my adult life and can speak to the misunderstandings that can go along with this disease.
How important do you think villains are in a story? Very. Without them, the conflict is not as dramatic.
What are your goals as a writer? To make enough money from selling my books to quit my day job and go sailing with my hubby.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? Not so far. I’ve already done a great deal of traveling in my life so I can draw on a lot of that.
Have you ever considered anyone as a mentor? No, most of what I’ve achieved has been as a solitary learner.
Who is your favorite author and why? Anne McCaffrey. I love her characters and the imagination of her settings. Most of her protagonists are women who overcome a lot of adversity. She also incorporates food in her stories, I love that for some strange reason. Her characters are always eating.
Can we expect any more books from you in the future? Probably seven this year…whew.
Have you started another book yet? Finishing one and then will start the second book in the DraculaVille series.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Hopefully sailing in the Caribbean and writing for a living.
What are your current writing projects now? Finishing the third book in my steampunk adventure series. Then I’ll start the second book in my DraculaVille series.
Are you reading any interesting books at the moment? Nope, just writing.
What are some of the best tools available today for writers, especially those just starting out?, Querytracker.net, RWA membership, Y-writer software
What contributes to making a writer successful? A thick hide and dogged persistence.
Do you have any advice for writers? Keep writing. Every book you write will be better than the last. Get people to critique your work and listen to what they have to say. Keep what resonates with you and release the negativity.
Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers? My goal is to entertain. I want to write stories that take people on a mental vacation where they can have a good time and relax.
What do you do to unwind and relax? Drink red wine. Sail. Read.
What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing? I’ve met readers who like my books. That’s been the most amazing part of this journey. To think I’ve touched people I don’t know and gave them some entertainment is everything to me.
Do you have any upcoming appearances that you would like to share with us? I’m doing a crazy amount of blog tours in the next three months for several of my books. Hope to see ya’ll out there.
If you could leave your readers with one bit of wisdom, what would you want it to be? Don’t put off your dreams. Live them now. Never doubt what you’re capable of, just go for it.
When you wish to end your career, stop writing, and look back on your life, what thoughts would you like to have? That I caused a lot of happiness through my stories, and enjoyment for my readers, and they will read my books over and over and pass them on to others.