Tell my fans a little bit about yourself and your book.
I am a native of central Montana. I have two sons, one being my natural son and the other a homeless teen who was destined be a part of our family. I am also a proud Grandma of three beautiful little granddaughters.
My book, The Enemy Within is the first book in the Destiny series and was released April 2014. The second book in the series Enemy Unmasked is tentatively scheduled for release early 2015.
How would you introduce your book to someone that has yet to read it?
The Destiny series is a fast paced Dark Fantasy based in two cities that are under attack. It is not a clear cut good guy vs bad guy series, but a journey into human nature. The heroes and villains are interchangeable within the blink on an eye.
How many books have you written? What are their titles?
I currently have stories in all eight of the Giant Tales anthologies, Published through Professor Limn Books: Beyond the Mystic Doors, From the Misty Swamp, World of Pirates, Trash to Treasure, Violet Hopes, Dangerous Days, Lava Storm, and the newest release Final Ships.
Also released through Professor Limn Books is a unique progressive novelette that I co-wrote with four other authors: Gryffon Master, Curse of the Lich King.
Published on my own is the Destiny Series: The Enemy Within and coming soon Enemy Unmasked.
What inspired you to start writing? What age did you start?
I have been writing since I was an early teen, but did not make the transition to professional writer until after 50. What finally inspired me to make that transition from hobby writer to professional, was a conversation I had with my sweet mother shortly before she passed away. She gave a sound piece of advice when I mentioned I wanted to one day be published: “Baby girl we raised you better than that. Dreams don’t come true without some elbow grease.”
After returning back to Utah things just fell into place to make the transition. Do I think my mother had a little to do with that? Absolutely!
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
When I am not writing you can find me lost in a book, or an occasional TV show. I also enjoy spending time with family. My two sons do professional BBQ competitions and as of December 4 they will open their own restaurant. To say I am proud of my boys is an understatement. Then there are three granddaughters ranging in ages from one to eight that need to be spoiled a little.
What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
The same advice I have been given by some of the most successful authors today: write, write, and when you don’t feel like writing get busy and write. I have been blessed to sit with some of the true masters and learn from them. The truth is, writing is like anything else, you don’t master the craft until you truly understand it. That understanding comes with constant learning.
What’s your favorite scene/line from your works?
There are so many, but if I had to pick one it would probably be the final scene of Gryffon Master. My favorite line would probably have come from The Enemy Within when Michelnick finally declares his freedom from the tyrannical Paulis with these words. “Besides, the people of this city may never believe the words of a condemned man, but they will never forget the final testament of a fallen hero.”
What’s the hardest thing about writing? The easiest? I think the hardest part about writing is the editing. It is tedious and for me it is that point when writing is no longer fun, but work.
The best part of writing is when I get to just sit down at the computer, or with a pen and paper, and just let the words spin themselves into the next story.
What are you currently reading?
I have recently picked up an old classic and started reading it. To Kill a Mockingbird has always been a favorite of mine and I am enjoying it yet again.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently finishing the last few chapters of Enemy Unmasked.
What books did you read as a child?
I read the typical Dick and Jane stories, Dr Suess, and nursery rhymes. By middle school I had moved on to To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, and Tom Sawyer.
What genre is your favorite to read?
Fantasy is my primary love, but I am not exclusive. I can just as easily get lost in an adventure, historical fiction, fiction, or biography. My favorite authors range from Tracy Hickman to Rita Mae Brown and Sydney Sheldon.
How has your life changed since you began writing?
I definitely get a lot less sleep. Between working full time and writing full time, sleep doesn’t seem to get penciled in often. But on a serious note; I have found that I look at the world with a different set of eyes now. I have always been a people watcher, but now I am more interested in human nature as a whole. What makes this person do what they did. Why does that person think like that etc.
I also have come to learn that I am very comfortable hanging out with famous people, talking to crowds, marketing myself, and connecting to people on a individual level such as when I am signing a book.
Do you listen to music while you write?
No! I actually have to have absolute quiet when I am trying to write.
What’s been your favorite moment as an author?
My favorite moment as an author happened during a FANX convention. A young mother came up to my table as we were discussing the Giant Tales books she was telling me that she had just been diagnosed with cancer and was looking for books to keep her spirits up during chemo. She purchased two of the anthologies that day and we parted with hugs and tears. I have often wondered how she is doing.
A few months later a co-author put out a call to help in behalf of a young teen who was just diagnosed with leukemia and was an avid reader. A copy of Gryffon Master went to her with the same hope that it kept her spirits up.
Out of all of your characters, who is your favorite?
Without question Shadoe Van Ives from the Destiny Series. The hero who would be anything but that under different circumstances.
What do you want readers to take away from your books?
That my stories all have a moral theme to them. Sometimes, that theme is very obvious and sometimes it needs to be sought out but it is always there. When I write a story, whether it be a quick 750 word short or a full length novel, I want the reader to be left thinking.
You’re stranded on a desert island. What books do you take with you?
Survival books first and foremost. Than some good inspiring books to remind me of my humanity such as To Kill a Mockingbird.
What book(s) do you wish you would have written?
Gone with the Wind
Favorite book character?
Oh my, just one. I would have to pick Ron Weasly because he is the text book version of a true friend and devoted sidekick.
What is your dream vacation destination?
Do you have any interesting dreams or goals?
I want to do a collaborative work with a news reporter on a series of stories about homeless teens. I want to spotlight local teens who have been forced into the streets, choose to be in the streets, and have left the streets. This is a true crisis across the world that goes ignored.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Still writing and hopefully making some money at it. I don’t want to be famous necessarily, but I want be acknowledged as a credible professional writer.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
Never Stop Dreaming.