Q: When did you begin writing?
A: Like lots of people I started writing in school with research papers and reports, that sort of thing. The first compliment I ever received on my writing came from a high school classmate my senior year in Miss Sweetland Oxley’s College Prep English class. My friend Jim Casto, later a writer himself, said my discussion of the poetry of Beowulf was very good. A little bit of positive feedback and I was good to go though I didn’t write much fiction until 1986.
Q: What genres do you write?
A: Currently I write cozy fairy tale mystery fiction and cozy historical mystery fiction.
Q: Who do you imagine you’re telling a story to as you write?
A: I write to entertain myself and others like me who enjoy mysteries with action, adventure, humor, and romance. I like to touch my readers’ hearts, too. So when I wipe a tear from my eye as I write or throw my head back and laugh, I figure I’m on the right track.
Q: What’s your latest book about?
A: January Jinx, the first in a series of cozy historical mysteries set in Kansas City, is about Minty Wilcox whose search for a stenographer’s job has gotten off to a disastrous start. Accused of murder, she tries to clear her name, but eventually bad luck spreads like a nasty cold from Minty to her family and Daniel Price, their mysterious lodger as well. Minty feels responsible for their troubles, so she must set things right. This won’t be easy in Kansas City where living could get downright deadly one hundred and sixteen years ago.
Q: Which authors inspire you?
A: Gosh, a hard question, since I could just go on and on. But I’ll choose two as role models for myself as a retiree who publishes her own work: Marcia Talley who started writing the Hannah Ives mysteries after she retired and Sally Berneathy who, after a successful career as a romance author, began self-publishing the Ex Who Wouldn’t Die and Death by Chocolate mystery series.
Q: What’s your favorite book?
A: This is another hard question for me to answer since I’ve had several favorites over the years, but here it is: the book that’s my favorite from the current millennium is Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. It’s great. It’s big, like a Charles Dickens’ novel. It has mystery and fantasy and an-oh-so touching love story. What’s not to like?
Q: Why did you choose independent publishing?
A: I got sick and tired of getting depressed from the discouragement dished out by literary agents, editors, and even authors whose work I admired. I only wish I’d quit listening to those people a lot sooner than I did.
Q: What one piece of advice would you offer aspiring authors?
A: Write every day, if only in your journal. Daily writing has so many benefits for a writer that I can hardly list them. So I’ll end with this old saying: Practice makes perfect.