If you were to write the ‘origin’s episode’ of your writing what would be the most important scenes? What did your early efforts look like? Are they still around to be used as bribes and blackmail material?
I imagine this ‘origin’s episode’ to show a thirteen-year-old girl out in the middle of a newly harvested grain field acting out all the parts of a story about her favorite TV show.
My early efforts at writings are mostly unfinished and are messily hand-written during my high school years though one was finished and typed up for me by a friend. (I didn’t have a typewriter.) These, too, were about TV shows. I suppose they are fan fiction though I had no idea what that meant at the time. I still have them in an old 3 ring binder. I cringe when I read them, but I like to keep them around to show me I did get better.
All super heroes have their mild-mannered secret identity, what is yours? I promise we won’t tell.
I’m a wife, mother, and grandmother. I love to read, quilt, travel, and spend lots of time with my grandchildren.
Who are your partners in crime? What are their superpowers?
My husband is one and he has the power to find the tiny mistakes that I’ve made and missed in multiple proofing. My dear friend Florence has been trusty beta for years now. Her greatest super power is encouragement. I have my times of discouragement and she always seems to be able to talk me out of it.
Where is your secret lair and what does it look like?
My secret lair used to be my son’s bedroom, but when he grow up and left home, I took it for my office. It always seems to be messy, but I do know where most everything is. At the moment, behind my computer screen on the wall I have a tea-towel from England with thatched cottages on it. It even has a title on it ‘Devon Thatch’. There are also postcards from my friends in England and a sweet little cross stitched kitten. I don’t have a live cat, but there are several stuffed kitties on various shelves close to keep an eye on me.
Granted, you probably don’t’ get to wear your superhero costume a lot, but if you did, what would it look like?
I think it would be a Regency matron’s day dress and mob cap.
What is your kryptonite? What are the biggest challenges faced with in your writing?
My inner editor doesn’t allow my muse free rein. I constantly have to tell the editing part of me that it will have its turn with the story. I didn’t even realize that was what happened until I read an article about writing that explained what can happen to cause writer’s block.
What important lessons have you learned along the way?
I’ve learned to use criticism, constructive or not, to my advantage. I admit that I like to hear that people like my stories, but a critic will often make me face a shortcoming in my writing. Also I’m finding out that I will not please everyone and should be true to my own style.
What have been the best/most memorable experiences along the way?
What comes to mind is having a friend in England tell me that I must have truly done my research. It pleased me that it showed.
If you did this again what would you do differently and what would you not change?
I would spend more time building the drama in a story and work longer on my cover.
What is the best (writing or otherwise) advice you have ever gotten and why.
It relates to criticism. I was told to look at the critique to see if there is merit in it. If merit exists, use it to improve your writing. If it has no redeeming qualities, ignore it and go on. When I first wrote a story about 13 years ago, I was afraid to have anyone read it for hear they would find fault with it. I said above, I understand that criticism can be a good thing.
Tell us about your new book and why we need to drop everything and get it now.
Mr. Darcy’s Dilemma and Delight tells the story of Elizabeth and Darcy from a completely different angle. Elizabeth is attacked and Darcy comes upon her right after the attack. It is a story of healing and love. It explores the possibility of changes in other characters as well.
What’s in store for you in the future? Do you have any other big projects on the horizon?
Yes, I have three projects in the works at the moment. One is another Darcy and Elizabeth book with a twist at the beginning. It asks the question what if Darcy came into the Meryton assembly looking for a wife and is attracted to someone other than Elizabeth. Another book features Colonel Fitzwilliam and Charlotte Lucas as main characters. The third is a novella about Mr. Collins.
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