This is my least favorite part of an interview. I have a difficult time talking about myself. Stealing from my online bio…
While I’m originally from New Jersey, I spent most of my growing up years in Flagler Beach & Palm Coast, Florida. More recently, I relocated with my husband to Illinois where I met and fell in love with my true love, Tinkerbell. My hubby has come to understand she ranks first in my affections, as I rank in hers. He’s cool with it. :)
Job titles I currently hold: Author, Professional Waster-of-Time, Hammock Mounting
Safety Instructor, Margarita Mixologist and Spoiler of Dogs.
On a serious note: Until now, "A jack of all trades and master of none" best described
me. Through all my career changes, my husband would always encourage me to turn
back to my real love, writing. Because I've always felt it is important to be true to
yourself, I did. Over the years, I’ve taken writing classes and have now decided to
put what I’ve learned to good use.
Sammy's story was my very first experience in writing a full length novel. I'm
extremely proud of what I've created. It is my hope that this will be everyone’s new
go-to book, that they will want to read it again and again.
Tell us about your latest book.
FINDING YOU (Sammy’s Story) is a romance which crosses the border into paranormal without seeming to. Sammy suffers with premonitions. These come into play during the story. This book also has enough suspense and drama in it to make it a little more than the standard cut and dried contemporary romance out there today. But, ultimately, fans want a happy ending, and I think they will be pleased. Will it turn
out the way they want? I’m not telling. I will say, my ARC reviews are excellent and I
couldn’t be happier. I have to laugh because some of the best reviews were from people who would never have picked it up if they thought it contained anything resembling the paranormal. They loved it and can’t wait for my next book.
What do you have coming out in the future?
My next project is WHEN I SAW YOU AGAIN. This book is the story of Sammy’s sister,
Margie. Once again, it will teeter on the edge of the paranormal without seeming too
out there for standard contemporary readers. I have ideas for seven additional books
with outlines already drawn up for two of them. It appears I am going to be one busy
little beaver for the next two to three years running.
Is your book a stand-alone or a series?
Technically, it is a stand-alone in that if anyone wanted to read just this book, it
concludes in the final scene. However, it is part of a series in that the other family
members of the main character will have books of their own. Reading the books in
order will enhance the experience for the reader, but it isn’t necessary to enjoy any
or all of the books.
Why romance and what makes your particular brand of romance special?
Even as a small child, I loved the idea of love. Around the age of fifteen years old, I read my first romance. I haven’t stopped reading since. When I was twenty-five, I thought “Yeah, I can do that!” and I started scribbling stories in my free time or at night when I was unable to sleep. I think when it becomes such an obsession, you have to go with it. You have no choice.
As far as what makes mine special? I’m not sure. Maybe because I feel life isn’t black and white? There are many grey areas. As such, they reflect in my stories and make them appear real. I also write flawed characters. Sammy is probably as quirky as they get. She has no filter, has a tendency to be stubborn, and laughs at inappropriate times. We won’t talk about her temper. However, she is likable, which is the most important aspect of the character. I think she is relatable.
Is romance the only genre that you write in or do you write in other genres? If so what other genres do you write in?
Romance will always be my main genre. Will I branch out? Maybe. I imagine that as I
become more comfortable with plotting and creating characters I will want to explore the darker side of writing. Maybe create a mystery or two. I am a fan of Mary Higgins Clark, but I won’t pretend to have that skill level yet.
Real life. FINDING YOU was based on the idea of what would happen if my husband
went out of town and never returned. I had nightmares after he left on a business
trip, and my imagination took off from there.
Do you ever base your characters on real people in your life?
Yes. I tell people Sammy is based on me about twenty years ago. She does things that
I may or may not have done. I refuse to incriminate myself. Michael is based on my
husband around that same time frame. The supporting characters are all loosely
based on people I know. Oddly enough, at this point in my life, I am more like
Sammy’s sister, Annie. I’ve mellowed with age. Margie has hints of me as well. She
can be very commanding when she needs to be. Ugh! Does this mean I have multiple
personality disorder? I think it is the writer’s curse. There are a lot of people living
in my head who want their own story.
What authors inspire your writing?
There are too many too count. However, authors like Jude Devereaux, Christina
Dodd, Julia Quinn, Judith McNaught and Jill Barnett have all created amazing
romances that have, at one time or another, appealed to me. Then there are the
authors like Erma Bombeck and Janet Evanovich who’s ability to make one liners
seem effortless have me envious. I would also love to channel authors like Robert
Ludlum and John Grisham for intrigue.
How have your real life experiences influenced your writing?
Twenty years ago, I doubt I could have been able to write stories as deep and
emotional as the ones I create today. For example, losing my parents and various
loved ones over the years, has taught me about loss and the stages of grief we all go
through. But each person experiences grief on their own terms. Some people find it
easier to let go than others. The same can be said of love. Having been with the
same man for over twenty-five years of my life has taught me love is about
compromise, and at times, getting out of your own way and putting someone else’s
needs above your own. It makes for stronger characters when they can grow through
a story as I have done in my own life.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Genealogy. I have spent endless hours in the pursuit of dead ancestors. I’ve even
stolen some of the names and used them for characters. I felt in some small way I
was honoring those who have long since passed.
I also love to spend my time on the water with my kayak. I prefer a lake, but if it
rains enough, I will use a puddle in the road. I’m not proud. The rest of my time is
spent catering to my dog, Tink, and laying in my hammock dreaming the day away.
What was your road to publishing like? Tell us about it.
Hell. No, I’m not kidding. It’s been pretty rough. Editing became my worst enemy and
the thing that I needed most. I’ve never been that person who could quote from a
book until I had to read my own 136 times to try to remove all the typos and
continuity issues. Now I can probably quote it front and backwards. As far as the
marketing aspect of publishing, I am having a bit of fun with that. Looking for
creative new ways to reach readers challenges me, and I feel I may be doing fairly
well with it.
How did you come up with the title of your book?
There are scenes in the book that refer to the title. It wasn’t anything profound. It
Do you read romance or do you prefer other genres?
I am an avid romance reader. However, there are times I need a break from it and
switch to a genre like murder-mystery or a good spy thriller. I’ve even been known to
read a YA novel on occasion. They aren’t my favs, but I believe in diversity.
What is your absolute favorite book or books and why is it special to you?
Jill Barnett wrote a book called Dreaming. I connected with that book on a very
visceral level. Many times in my life I felt inadequate, like the main character, Letty.
In the book, no matter what she seemed to do, it doesn’t turn out right. But she
keeps trying, even though she’s accident prone and gets her heart broken time and
again, she never loses faith. She is an eternal optimist. That’s me, the eternal
What celebrity would you chose to play the main character(s) in the movie rendition of your book?
I would have to say Mila Kunis. Not because she looks like the image I have of Sammy
in my head, but because she has played spunky characters in the past and does it
Have you joined any writer’s groups?
Not really. I created a writer’s group for friends on Facebook to discuss their work if
they so choose. I don’t know if writing groups would be a good thing or a bad thing for me right now. In all truthfulness, I don’t have the time to devote to a
group. I would rather spend my time writing than discussing my writing. I imagine
after some time has passed and the newness of all this wears off, and when I am not
putting in long hours, I will feel the need to connect with other authors more than I
have. I’ve been pretty lucky to have professionals willing to help me with
constructive criticism and publishing hurdles. For that, I am grateful.
Have you won any awards for your writing?
I’ve just entered my first novel in the Writer’s Digest contest under the genre fiction
category. I’ll let you know how it goes.
What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Without a doubt editing. It’s been suggested a writer should have three separate
editors. One for plot and character development, and two for grammar and spelling.
I agree. I failed to do that with my first novel, and I believe it took me longer than it
needed to in order to produce a quality product. The problem for me is that I know
what I want and expect a sentence to say. As a result, I read it how I see it in my
mind. I miss typos and misspelled words for that reason. Words that spellcheck
wouldn’t normally catch such as bland in place of blade and rain in place of rein or
reign became my nemeses (Yes, I did check the spelling and nemeses is the plural for
nemesis. No typo there.). It has been a learning experience, and while it has been
difficult at times, I welcome the learning experience. It will make me a better
author in the end, or at least I hope.
What is the easiest part of the writing process for you?
Plot. I have no problem with twist and turns. I can see the final outcome in my mind
and then create the winding path to get there. I think readers of FINDING YOU will
find that to be true.
Which of your characters is your favorite and why?
Michael was by far my favorite. He has an easy charm and sweet disposition, at least
until he gets riled. Laughing and enjoying life are part of his DNA. Every beta reader
and recipient of the ARCs has fallen in love with him. It is impossible not to. It
doesn’t hurt that he is sexy as hell and knows how to make sweet love to a
Who or what are your inspirations/influences?
Life is my inspiration. As a writer, I tend to study every person I meet. I look deeper
into their soul, past all the surface fluff. I look for the motivation behind their
actions. It inspires me to write characters with depths and who have hidden agendas.
What is your preferred writing environment?
It doesn’t matter as long as I have few distractions. I can write on the front porch in
my adirondack chair, in my hammock with a pad and pencil, in my kayak, or at my
desk in my office. Those are all my favorite places to be, with the exception of the
office, and I love to write. It is my belief that if you have a story that refuses to stay
bottled up, you will find a way to tell it regardless of environment. Is it better to
have a place where you are comfortable and that feeds your creativity? Sure it is.
But I’m not picky. Just sit me in front of a computer and I’m happy.
How would you describe your writing style?
Spastic? I write like I think. Some phrases are long and drawn out while some are
short and to the point. There are others that are fragmented. All of my readers to
date actually like my style. They say it is more in line with how they think. I’m glad
to see I’m not the only one out there whose mind has no discernible thought pattern.
Do you have a careful plan when plotting your stories or do you just go with the flow?
Both. I try not to be rigid with a plot. I have a general map of where the story needs
to go, but there are times when my mind goes off-roading. It isn’t always pretty. Yet,
I’ve found it works. There were times I found Sammy in a situation and wondered
how the heck she got there. I would then find a way to write her back on track. It
added to the story, and I was happier for it. To my way of thinking, it is meant to be.
With many publishing routes available today, which felt the most reliable to you when it came to the many choices?
I chose the self-publishing route. I dislike authority (cough, cough, Sammy, cough,
cough) and shun the traditional. It allows me a freedom to create and publish on my
schedule. The drawback is you have to be all things; author, editor, publisher, and
marketing expert. It is a LOT of work. Worth it eighteen hour days when it is crunch
time? We’ll see. I hope so.
When did you know you truly wanted to give writing a shot?
I enjoyed writing in school and actually scribbled short stories in a notebook. It
wasn’t until I was about twenty-five that I realized it was what I wanted to do with
my life. However, life had other plans for me. And now, a million years later, life
handed me back my dream. I grabbed it with both hands and said, “Thank you!”
What is your favorite quote?
“Why Johnny Ringo, you look like somebody just walked over your grave.” Did I say I
was a huge Tombstone fan? Yeah, sorry it isn’t something more profound, but I loved
the humor behind that movie scene.
Do you have any advice for other writers and what is it?
Most people would say “Just write!” and, while I agree with that, I think the better
advice would be to plan your story. To think about what you are trying to get across
and how you want your characters to be. Set writing goals for every day; 1, 2 or even
3 thousand words per day. Be original. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of other
published authors. Be sure you are open to constructive criticism. No one person
knows everything. If we listen, we can learn enough to make us good. A few lucky
ones will learn to be great.
Wild Card Question.
As an author, what is the one question that you wish people would ask you, but no one ever has and what would your answer be to that question?
How would you like your million dollar advance paid, check or direct deposit?
Direct deposit will be great. Thanks!