Tell us a little about yourself.
My husband and I have lived a busy life, traveling throughout the country, counseling and ministering to others. We’ve enjoyed so many beautiful sites–many of which are dear to us. We have many memories! But home is always the best. 🙂
I enjoy gardening, trying new things, collecting music boxes, mugs, and filling my journals with either memories or quotes. I become quite attached to my pets and grieve when they pass on. I love the country and city lights, real cheesecake and good food. Most of all I love my friends and family. Our grandsons are the light of our eyes.
I have several books published with more coming soon:
- A standalone women’s fiction with strong elements of romance and suspense: The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman (although there might be a sequel).
- A simple and fun mystery series introducing Denton and Alex Davies. Book One is Hog Insane set in Tennessee. Book Two (coming soon!) is set in New Mexico and is called Bat Crazy.
- The first book in my WWII Spy series, With Music in Their Hearts, is the beginning novel of the oldest of three red-headed sisters: Emma Jaine Rayner. Her Spy is Tyrell Walker, a minister rejected for active service but recruited to serve as a civilian spy. Book Two should be out either late winter or early spring next year.
- I’m working on editing a series of character building children stories featuring Racy the Rabbit. And I have a “go-along” non-fiction book for The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman. It’s filled with tidbits of information about West Virginia, recipes, quotes, sayings, and a little background on the cult in the book.
Why did you start writing?
It’s a God-given talent. Life and marriage and children took up a lot of my time, but finally I felt it was time to pursue novel-writing full time, and I barreled into it with all the force I could. Writing groups, critique partners, workshops and conferences, practice and whatever else I could get my hands on pushed me further and further into a knowledgeable and experienced writing life. Writing is part of me and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
How did you start writing?
The first time I remember penning a fictional story was an assignment in grade school on a caveman’s family. I don’t have that document, but I wish I did. If for no other reason, it would give me satisfaction to see how much I’ve learned and how far I’ve come.
How did you select your genre?
I didn’t. It’s something I’m good at and interested in. I’ve always loved mysteries and suspenseful type books so gearing toward the same genre makes good sense. It keeps my attention and research and the actual writing is so much easier than if I struggled to write in a genre not nearly as fascinating.
What is your writing day like?
Once I’ve finished devotions and whatever else I need to complete (including checking email, blog posts, face book, etc.), I try to get in as much as possible writing time. I can’t always do that because I have a life besides writing, but if I can get in a few words, that’s accomplishment. When I’m nearing the end of a novel I spend more time on it, pushing toward the finished product.
I keep a notebook for each novel I do. Notes, thoughts, suggestions by critique partners, and more notes. I like to keep a list of sub-plots, events happening and timeline so that I can make sure everything is covered by the end of the novel. (No lose threads!). Though I do make lists, etc., on the computer, I find what works best for me is to have the paper in hand. I read and reread my notes and lists, checking off items as I cover them or answer questions and suggestions I may have made. It’s an ongoing process for me.
Do you have a list of characters that you’re saving for future use? What kind of information do you keep on these characters?
I keep files on possible characters and story plots. As I research or prepare for writing the novel either soon or in the future, I like to add “could be” scenarios, traits, and thoughts that come to me. Every little bit helps. I sometimes even print out true life events and like to have actions down that real people have said that I could use. Here’s a few examples of characters I will be using soon:
- A Flute in the Willows: this is the second book in my WWII Spy series and also the third book: Sing Until You Die: The second and third red-headed Rayner sisters made their appearance in the first book and I was able to introduce my readers to their characters. Josie is a bit wild, tomboyish in some ways but crazy about her special spy. She’s dedicated and strong willed, but has a loving heart and tends to think for herself. Claire, on the other hand, is more concerned about her looks and fashion, boys and her voice, than getting into trouble. She has an amiable spirit but is spoiled and in her book, will be unafraid to speak her mind and unsure if the spy in her life is the one she wants.
- In a historical romantic/light suspense, Destiny is an orphan, but no one feels sorry for her. She’s her own person, strong and determined to find the answers she seeks. She might be spoiled and good at getting her way but if she listens to her heart, she will find the happiness she craves.
- In another, more intense novel I have hopes of writing (someday in the future) (and still collecting and needing lots of data!), I have a man, married with a family, who seems like a normal person. Yet he’s recruited by a secret society to make wrongs right. Only an innocent remark from his youngest child awakens him to what is truly right and wrong.
- Many others too.
What does your work space/office look like?
A large refurnished wooden, rounded desk. I have two laptops, baskets filled with paper clips, rubber bands, tape, and other miscellaneous stuff I need quite often. The other holds paper-ish stuff, including name tags and memo pads. I have pictures and cds and candles along with a few of my favorite mugs for a personal touch, some of my favorite author books (and a sampling of my own), research books. I usually have a paper strewn desk, notebooks, books, files and on the floor, bags filled with various things I want to take when I’m on the go. Today, you would also fina a glass filled with wild daisies picked by my toddler grandson, Jonathan, for his “gwandma.”
What is your go-to snack when writing?
Unless I’m really hungry, I don’t snack when I’m rolling with the writing. It’s only when I’m stuck that I nibble. L
If you could only recommend one CRAFT book (writing, no crocheting), what would it be? Why?
I can not get along with out my dictionary and thesaurus. To me, they are an absolute must. I know everyone has their preference in writing form books, and that’s great. But these two books are my most used tools.
I’d like to encourage any newbie writers to never, never give up. If you truly want to be an author, then be true to your calling. Write and write some more until you know and/or find who your target audience is. Learn how you are suppose to write and do it. Don’t be afraid to follow the rules, but be your own person too. And never give up. Keep writing!
Thank you so much for appearing on my blog!
Thank you, Karin, for allowing me to visit your blog! I appreciate it so much.