1. I live in a city - Vancouver - but I often set stories in small towns for the sense of community which echoes what I find in my downtown neighborhood. What about you? Where do you live and where do you set your stories? And why?
I was a “serialized small-town girl” growing up—living in a variety of places in three states. As an adult, once my husband’s military career ended, we returned to his hometown—Oklahoma City. We now live in one of the suburb cities which is Very Small Town™ but has all the benefits of the big city nearby. My stories are set all over the world. I’m a cross-genre writer so I have small-town contemporaries, time-travel/reincarnation paranormals, and a new series about a group of ex-military werewolves. To me, the setting enhances the story so I plop my characters wherever the story needs them.
2. What's your favorite book ever and why? I have 2 or 3 books that I read over and over again - including Jane Austen's Persuasion. I love it because the characters are older and their relationship isn't easy, but you know, when they do finally get together, they're grown-ups and they know exactly who they are.
This is always a tough question for me. My “chicken soup” read is J.D. Robb’s NAKED IN DEATH, the first in her Eve Dallas/In Death series. I realize that’s an odd choice but given my background in the fire service and law enforcement, I’m not too surprised. Andre Norton’s BEASTMASTER is a childhood favorite. Finally, I always return to the first two books I checked out of the adult section of the library when I was ten: Mary Stewart’s THE MOONSPINNERS and Ian Fleming’s THE SPY WHO LOVED ME. Each of these books touch me in some way—language, theme, nostalgia. I lost my copy of BEASTMASTER in a flood and I’m still trying to replace it. I have first editions of the others and treasure them.
3. What's the story you've always wanted to write but somehow can't? For me, it's a story about World War I. I'm fascinated by the stories I've read about it but I'm pretty sure I'm never going to write a real war story. I've just finished a book that is set partly during World War I but a very long way away from the battles. I think that's as close as I'm going to get.
I started writing a book in 1994. It’s still not finished. It’s a horror story and getting into the antagonist’s head freaks me out a little. Okay, a LOT! I work on it when things in my life are really dark. I’m sure Freud or Jung would have a field day psychoanalyzing me because of that. UNINVITED may truly be my “trunk book”, even though I still find the story and characters fascinating all these years later.
4. Finally, do you have a routine? If so, what is it and how easy/hard is it to stick to it? I try to have one, but because I work as a freelance paralegal and teach paralegals occasionally, my schedule tends to change from week to week, if not actually day to day. I'm always buying lottery tickets, hoping to win just enough money not to have to work and write to a regular schedule though I'm pretty sure that even if I did have the money to write nine to five, I wouldn't, as I've been scrambling like this forever :)
When I worked full-time, I wrote at lunch and in the evenings while dinner cooked. I’m retired from the real world now so writing is my job. I get up, have breakfast (or at least coffee! Must have coffee!), and settle into my desk chair. I spend about an hour dealing with the business of writing—emails, blogs, etc. and then I spend the day writing. Or thinking about writing. Or running the vacuum because I’m stuck in a scene. When I’m really stuck, I clean the toilets. Stop laughing. I’m serious! When I have a new Work in Progress (WIP), I try to write at least 2000 words a day, hopefully before noon. After noon, I deal with revisions, marketing, and other tasks related to finished projects in edits or already published. You know, looking back at my schedule I sound all efficient and stuff. I wish! I’ve been known to burn dinner because inspiration hit and I had to get the idea down before Iffy, my Muse, got to it with her scissors. Yes, she runs with scissors. It gets really ugly around here sometimes. ;-)
Thanks so much for hosting me. I’ve enjoyed the interview.
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