Check out my recent interview with SeriousReading.com
What makes this particular genre you are involved in so special?
I intended my novel, FINDING ROSE ROCKS, to be a women’s fiction
because that’s a genre that I personally love. However, my main
characters had other plans. They are ages 45 and 50, and the story
emerged into a seasoned romance. What makes writing novels about love
between older people special is that there simply aren’t enough of them
out there. There are lots of romances about 20 year olds, but people in
their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond still love, laugh, and live.
What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?
Computer and longhand. My system is such that I type out a chapter or
two on the keyboard and then print it. I then leave my desk and take
the printed pages into another room where I can relax. I read what I’ve
typed and make lots of changes, cross out lines, add words, and
basically scribble all over the pages. I then go back to the keyboard
and make the corrections. I do this over and over with the same chapter
until I’m satisfied with it. For another perspective I sometimes stand
up and read it aloud.
When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
Not until later in life, like in my late 40’s or early 50’s. Writing
always came easily to me and I enjoyed it, but to write an entire novel?
Nope, it never occurred to me. That said, I think back on certain
instances in my life that may have unconsciously moved me in a writerly
direction. At my twenty-fifth high school reunion someone I barely knew
came up to me and recited verbatim a short poem I’d written for the
school paper all those years ago. In college, I majored in English and
had to write lots of papers. I didn’t find it an easy task but thrust
myself wholeheartedly into each project and was rewarded time and again
with grades of A and A+. After college, I always had a novel that I was
reading. After so many, I thought I’d give short stories a try. Even
when one of my short stories grew into a novella, I still didn’t have
the confidence to imagine I could turn it into a full novel. I just kept
plugging away, and eventually I succeeded.
What inspires you to write?
I’m inspired by day-to-day life. I’m a realist. Romance novels
wherein a young, gorgeous billionaire bachelor sweeps into a shop girl’s
life seem too far-fetched for me. I realize many readers do so to
escape the daily doldrums, but I prefer stories that seem like they
could actually happen in real life.
How hard was it to sit down and actually start writing something?
Beginning the writing process can be quite hard. Harder still is to
keep doing so, to go back to that piece of writing and flesh it out,
polish it, and keep improving it. I tell myself I’ll sit down and write
as soon as I do the laundry, make those phone calls, go to the gym, you
name it. It’s a great way to get undesirable chores done, but it’s also
plain old procrastination. When asked how one begins to write, I love
the advice Butt in Chair.
Writers are often associated with loner tendencies; is there any truth to that?
I think so. Writing is a solitary venture. You have to be the kind of
person who is happy in your own company. Some people go to public
places like cafes to write, but I function best in a quiet house with no
interruptions. The silence allows me to get into my “writing zone”.
That said, my daily trips to the gym for yoga, swimming, and machines is
a healthy dose of social interaction and a break from sitting in front
of a keyboard.
Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?
In writing they call it being a “plotter” or a “panster”. Plotters
plan everything out ahead of time. They get everything down on paper,
like how many chapters there will be and the length of each one. It’s
almost mathematical in format. I admire plotters but I could never be
like that. For one thing, I don’t math. Pansters are the opposite. They
go with whichever way the wind blows even if it means they take lots of
wrong turns and end up wasting time and effort. I can’t say I’m a
panster, either. In writing FINDING ROSE ROCKS, I envisioned the whole
story in my mind. I knew how it would begin, what would transpire, and
how it would end. What I didn’t imagine was all the twists and turns the
story would take, and those were an absolute delight.
What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing?
By far, the marketing of my book has been the hardest part. The
actual writing isn’t easy, of course. Getting an idea across just so,
transforming an emotion from my imagination onto paper is a real
challenge. Yet it is a challenge I love. Marketing, not so. I am
technology-challenged but trying like hell to overcome it. And marketing
is all about being computer savvy ~sigh~
Do you proofread and edit your work on your own or pay someone to do it for you?
In writing FINDING ROSE ROCKS I proofread and edited my own work. I
am far from being a punctuation expert, but know what thought I’m trying
to convey and how to structure a sentence so that my idea come across.
When I’m finished with a story, I try to have a grammar guru look it
What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion?
That it entertain, give enjoyment. I love it when a
book expands my mind, introduces me to new words and unknown places. My
favorite books have contained prose so beautiful that I wanted to hug
the pages, books like White Oleander, The Mermaids Chair, and The
Language of Flowers. For me, those books sang. Their pages were so chock
full of beautiful descriptions that they came alive for me. In FINDING
ROSE ROCKS, I attempted the kind of masterful manipulation of language
that others have done so skillfully. For example: She rolled up her pant
legs and strolled toward the wet sand where once-powerful swells
diminished and bowed in final flourishes, ending with quiet grace,
gliding arches encircling the feet of their native daughter. Over and
over the foamy tide whispered her name.
Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?
Yes, I believe that a book cover is very important. When we browse
through the aisles of a bookstore or online, it’s the cover that first
draws us in.
Do your novels carry a message?
Certainly no preaching or moral dictates, but beyond entertaining, I
like to think my characters are intelligent and make decisions that are
sound and not intentionally hurtful to themselves or others. I want my
writing to be a celebration of the written word.
How much of yourself do you put into your books?
Quite a bit. I think most authors do. So often I read a book that
takes place in close proximity to where the author resides. Even if it’s
a science fiction story, an author’s beliefs, her way of looking at
things, shines through on the pages.
How realistic are your books?
People read for different reasons. Some like to escape the everyday
and therefore enjoy wild fantasy. I write what I enjoy reading, and my
tastes run toward realistic. Give me an imperfect down-home rancher who
falls for a middle-aged divorcee and I’m all in.
Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?
I have a growing interest in the magical realism genre and am writing
a short story about a personal experience with the phenomena. I also
have a work in progress, a coming of age story about a girl with a
hopelessly dysfunctional home life in sharp contrast to the picturesque
valley town where the story takes place.
It is often believed that almost all writers have had their
hearts broken at some point in time, does that remain true for you as
I mean, who’s lived and hasn’t had her heart broken? One of the nice
things about being an older writer is that I’ve had so many life
experiences, good and bad, and live to tell about them if only
indirectly through the lens of my characters.
Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family?
I don’t have many extended family members but as I mentioned earlier,
my husband and son are my most supportive audience each in their own
way. My husband was intrinsically involved in the writing process. My
son’s reaction came as a big surprise to me later, once FINDING ROSE
ROCKS was published. He really became animated. He told all his friends
and their mothers. He asked me for a copy, then another, and another.
There was always just one more person he needed to give a copy to. He
was so proud of me!
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Other than the marketing aspect which, let’s face it, is a pain in
the ass, I often find it a challenge to reach my desired word count. I
read and write with a tendency toward sparseness. Why use ten words when
four will do? I’ve had to teach myself to go into deeper detail and
spend more time in a scene.
Writers are often believed to have a Muse, your thoughts on that?
I can’t speak for other writers, but mine are other
writers whose work I love. I mentioned my all-time favorite books
earlier in the interview. Authors Janet Fitch, Sue Monk Kidd, and
Vanessa Diffenbaugh are remarkable writers. Dare I dream of producing
something nearly as intelligent, imitative, descriptive, or unique? A
book that moves me to the point that it seems my life has changed
because of it is rare. That is what I aspire to.
What is your motivation for writing more?
I feel like I simply can’t not write. It’s not so much that I
love the process of writing, though I do, but it’s more that writing is
a built-in part of who I am. I still have ideas I want to explore
Monday, May 8, 2017
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Monday, March 21, 2016
When Jennifer Ellis's business fails, she decides to leave Oklahoma in a cloud of red dust and return to her San Diego roots. Then Troy Stanhope comes along with a solution to her company's woes, and she falls for his velvety voice and appealing confidence. As their relationship deepens, she is called to the west coast on a family matter and decides to stay for the summer. She meets a new man and is drawn to his irresistible charm. A newly found self-awareness mingles with salty ocean breezes and eucalyptus-scented air to place her in his arms. Their liaison is poignant but brief, mid-life's last hurrah. Jennifer realizes her heart is back on the southern prairie, but she may be one adventure too late.
Release date May 20th or order paperback through The Wild Rose Press at www.wildrosepress.com
Friday, February 5, 2016
Sunday, December 27, 2015
In the late summer of a woman’s life she meets a handsome rancher who ignites her dormant passion, a passion that isn’t fully realized until she follows a yearning to the city of her youth where her enlightenment becomes a costly foray. FINDING ROSE ROCKS is an 86,000-word contemporary women’s fiction with strong romantic elements.
JENNIFER’s business fails and she decides to leave Oklahoma in a cloud of red dust and return to her San Diego roots. TROY comes along with a solution to her company’s woes. He has a velvety voice and appealing confidence. They begin a relationship; it deepens and then stalls after she’s called to the west coast on a family matter and decides to stay for the summer. She meets BEN with his irresistible charm. Her newfound self-awareness mingles with salty ocean breezes and eucalyptus-scented air to place her in Ben’s arms. Their liaison is heartfelt but brief, mid-life’s last hurrah. Jennifer realizes her heart is back on the southern prairie and returns to Troy’s ranch, but she may be one adventure too late.