Current Release: Dark Lie
Describe your current release in two sentences?
My first novel of psychological suspense for adults takes readers from Dorrie White's boringly normal life into the secrets of her shadowy past. When she sees her biological daughter being abducted, she must act, no matter what the consequences to herself and her marriage.
What have you had to give up to pursue your writing career?
Good question. Mostly, I have had to give up any kind of sensible cash flow or financial security. Writing does not pay regularly. Nor does it provide health insurance or a pension plan. And my social security tax is unbelievable. In order to continue writing, I have learned to live very frugally while taking pleasure in freebies ("the best things in life") and my writing itself.
What are you working on?
Another suspense novel also involving abduction, and again exploring the sacrifices an ordinary mom will make for a child.
What is your ultimate writing goal?
For my books to become my legacy after I am gone. I hope at least a few of my novels will be remembered and reread in the twenty-second century. Of course I cannot possibly know whether I achieve that goal.
Do you have a comfort food? What is it?
Big, warm, soft chocolate chip cookies. But alas, as I am now a diabetic, I may not have them anymore. Packaged sugar-free chocolate-chip cookies taste like carob-chip cardboard by comparison.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I really love taking my laptop to a local diner and spend the morning working there so that I can have my Diet Pepsi and some social contact, make friends, and eat lunch with one of them afterward.
What career fields have you worked in?
I've been a full-time professional fiction writer all my adult life. On the side I've been involved in animal rescue, Horseback Riding for the Handicapped, tutoring for literacy, serving on library boards and Friends, and most recently face painting for library fund-raisers. When I was between marriages I took part-time jobs to keep me sane: picture framing, painting pottery, bookstore clerk. But primarily I am a writer.
What are your plans for the next year? Any books you are looking forward to?
The suspense novel I am currently working on is already titled Drawn Into Darkness and scheduled for November, 2013. Of course I am very much looking forward to the whole publication process, especially seeing the new cover and showing it off on Facebook.
How was your road to publication?
From an outsider's point of view, smooth as syrup. I wrote my first novel (fantasy), found an interested editor right away, did revisions, and was published. But from my own point of view, my career began in mental health hell, and writing was my only way out. My novels are my heroes. They saved my life.
If you could time travel, where would you travel to and why?
I'm kind of phobic about travel in general, let alone time travel! So I wouldn't be terribly adventurous. I'd return to my own childhood, partly to see whether I could handle the bullies any better, but mostly to have parents again, see what they were really like (memory is unreliable) and reach out to ask them to connect more honestly with me.
Writing had been my life. I have published more than fifty books, and I remain just as amazed as ever that people are interested in reading them. Yet it is so, and as essential to me as air to breathe. If I were to write a manuscript and put it in a drawer, it would not be a book, just a manuscript. A book is not a book until the mental magic, the imagination transaction from writer to reader, is complete. A book requires readers. I require readers. They are the other side of the coin that is me.