Why I Started Writing: The world of story captured my heart and mind at a young age. My mother and aunt were great influencers—my mother always had a novel in her hand and made sure I was connected to the public library, and my aunt was one of the best oral storytellers I’ve ever heard. As for writing, I have a hard time choosing which came first: my need to lasso my creative runaway mind, or my need to escape from my then rough childhood days and enter fictional worlds where I got to control characters and what happened to them. While other kids started dating or getting into mischief, I wrote stories. At first, I fantasized becoming the next comedic playwright such as Neil Simon. Unexpected social and family changes rerouted my writing style to mainstream contemporary fiction. Yet, not until I devoted my writing to the Christian reader did I become a published author. My present writing fuses family drama and psychological suspense.
Authors Who Have Influenced Me: Without a blink, I’d say Jodi Picoult has influenced me the most. Her stories may be controversial, yet they always provide a ‘wow’ moment that has taught me much about writing. I’ve also read a lot of novels by Kristin Hannah, Susan Meissner, and Angela Hunt. As for telling a great “story,” I’d also say Nora Roberts has taught me a lot about characterization—she has me wanting to be BFF with her characters! And, a long, long time ago, Danielle Steele also opened my eyes about beginnings and endings of novels.
Books I Have Written: My short story, In His Own Time, won the People's Choice Award in the FamilyFiction Contest and has been published in a printed anthology: The Story: 2014 Anthology. Another short story The Forever Christmas Gift is published in the Amazon best seller Christmas Treasures: A Collection of Christmas Stories.
Always With You, with Elk Lake Publishing, was released January 2016. I’m blessed the book hit the Kindle bestselling list and continues to do well. The story started to incubate in my heart after two events: one fun, and the other horrific. First, at a writing workshop, I had to choose a horse’s name (well, it was during the racing season at the Saratoga (NY) track) and mine was Don’t-Tell-Isabelle. Right away, I had to know what Isabelle wasn’t supposed to know and why. Then second, when 9-11 occurred, I—along with all other Americans—grappled with understanding why hatred occurs. The result was Always With You, a love story between a husband and wife in the face of evil and secrets.
What I'm Working On Now: Quite a few readers of Always With You have been asking for a sequel of Isabelle and Tyler’s story, so in the back of my mind I’m letting this brew. I’ve begun work on my first time-slip novel, which very loosely, is based upon a few of my own family mysteries. I’m centering the story between 2012 and 1912.