In the summer of 1981 I nearly lost my left leg in a hiking accident. It was almost a year before I could walk without assistance. During those long months of rehabilitation I read over 300 books, mostly romance and mystery. The characters and plots were beginning to be so predictable that I stopped reading and began writing the story in my head that had been keeping me company during mundane parts of my day. It was a time travel set in London and without the aid of the internet I spent many long hours in my local library doing the research.
Your first novel shows a publication date of 2015. What was going on with your writing from 1982 till then?
In 2005 a story jumped into my head and wouldn’t go away. Until then I hadn’t considered actually writing one of the many stories that occasionally popped into my head. They were just my therapy. They say to write what you know and I’d known a lot of heartache so I sat at my computer and began writing. I quickly realized that I didn’t know how to write, so I did what every person who loves research does, I bought a bunch of books on how to write a book.
With each RWA conference that I attended I talked with indie-authors and the various editorial and marketing services. I learned the importance of good websites, cover designs and professional publishing help. I finally decided to go with Writers Space and enjoyed working with them on the design of my website and help publishing.
What does your editor remind you to do most often?
My editor is always wanting more deep point of view. I’m trying to remember to put everything my characters are thinking and doing onto the page. Also, she emphasizes the importance of choreography. A character can’t begin speaking or doing a task in another location unless he or she has done something to get there.
What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing?
I’m very motivated by my readers who tell me that a character in a book has inspired them or helped them deal with adversity. I love history and do a lot of research when writing in a particular time period.
My most vivid rejections came early after completing what I felt was a best seller and agents would be fighting over me. My ego was quickly deflated when agents and other authors agreed that my writing style didn’t fit a norm, and they couldn’t place me in an accepted genre.
What has surprised or frustrated you the most in writing/publishing?
I wish I’d known about writer’s groups and conferences back in the 1980’s. I needed encouragement from other authors, not just family and friends telling me that I had great stories and to write them down.
What is the best writing advice you’ve received or could give?
If you have a story to tell then write it. But while you’re writing study. Study and learn your genre, get connected to local writing groups, attend writer’s conferences, make the local library your best friend, many of them now have writers centers.
Are there any other points about writing you would like to add?
It’s a solitary journey you take in your mind. The challenge is to create the time and space to put the words on the page. To have the courage to put those thoughts ahead of everything else in your life at the moment. I guess that means to allow yourself to be selfish and let your inner creativity out.
What is the next book coming out? Can you give me a short synopsis?
A Paper Key will be available in the fall for the holiday market. This book will be a stand alone time travel and not part of the Tanner Family series.