What element would you not take out of your novels even if an editor asked you to?
I’m flexible if they were to ask me to take something out, I’d consider it for sure. But, if they were to ask me to add some explicit sex scenes, then I’d have to say no.
What made you start writing? Why?
I’ve written off and on most of my life but what really got me into publishing is maturity. Until I had the maturity to do all the revisions that my book needed, I would just give up. My first book went through seventeen rewrites. Now I’m down to about six per book. I didn’t have the patience for that when I was young.
What’s your favorite character and why?
My favorite character from my books is probably Riley from the Bending Willow series. She is an unlikely hero, the best kind. She must take her little sister from Reno to Idaho without getting hurt, a difficult task these days. She is resourceful and brave.
Tell me advice you’d give new authors who are unpublished
I always tell writers to find their writing community. Find a writer’s group or a critique group even if it is online. Having other writers in your life is very important. They “get” you. They will encourage you to keep writing when no one else will. They share resources and help make connections. They challenge you to be your best self. I highly recommend finding your people and being with them as often as possible.
What book would you reread 728 times and why?
Harry Potter (all of them) I love them so much. Harry is one of those unlikely hero’s and he grows into a brave person and a loyal friend. There are so many lessons to be learned from that story. I have read it, listened to it, and watched all the movies many times. It never gets old. When I feel down, I listen to Harry Potter or watch the movie and I always feel better.
What are 3 unique things about you that would capture everyone’s attention?
I’m a trauma therapist. This influences a lot of my writing. I tackle difficult issues with hope.
I’m a spiritual person, often this works its way into my books in some way.
I love to try new things. I got a black belt in Karate at 45 and jumped out of an airplane at 50. At fifty I also started publishing books. You are never too old to try something new.
What are your bookish goals for 2022?
My newest book, a YA fantasy called Tree Singer will be coming out on audible soon. The voice artist has been sending me chapters and it’s an amazing experience. I laugh and cry and think, “Who wrote this?” Then I realize, “I did!” It is surreal the difference a good actor can make of a story. I’m also shopping for an agent or editor for the two books I wrote during the pandemic and working on my newest book as well. It’s my first historical fiction and takes place during the completion of the transcontinental railroad.
Tell me a book you’d want to live in and why?
Hogwarts of course. But I don’t want to be a muggle. I would LOVE to have magic and adventures.
What’s a book that made tears cascade down your cheeks and why?
Oh my gosh, any book where dogs die. I just can’t take it. Where the Red Fern Grows killed me!
Tell me about what villain you’d gladly crush/destroy and why?
I absolutely despise Professor Umbridge in the Potter Series as she’s a sadist. She is so cruel and smiles when inflicting punishment. I LOVED when she was taken off by the centaurs!
Give me a plug of something you’d love all bookish people to purchase and why it’s superb.
I’m really proud of my new fantasy novel, Tree Singer. I’m crazy about trees and so many have burned up this year on the west coast it breaks my heart. It’s not a book about saving the earth but you can’t help but think about that when you read it. We do need to care for the earth and it’s a great story too. I’d highly recommend it!