1. When did you start writing, and was there a specific event or person who influenced you to become an author? I started writing about the time my youngest child started preschool. Looking back, I think I was searching for something of my own, since I’d finally gotten past the baby/toddler/diaper phase of motherhood. I’d always been a huge reader, and exceptional with my English skills, so when I came across an online writing class, I took it, just for fun. And then I found my first writing conference, and it kind of snowballed from there.
2. Are you currently working on a project, and if so, can you tell us anything about it? This week I’m working on a deadline! I’m doing a short story for a charity anthology, the proceeds of which will go toward hurricane victims from this year. I have a personal connection to the one that hit Texas, since one of the first towns hit is where I lived a few years ago, so even though I have a long to-do list this fall, I couldn’t say no. So… though it hasn’t been announced yet, I’m now working on a novelette from the Water So Deep world. The series is still complete, as far as I have planned. This is just an extra addition. For charity! Also because this world is the one I’ve worked in most recently, so it’s the freshest in my mind, which helps with the necessary quick turnaround.
3. What is your favorite writing snack? It really depends on my mood. I have a hard time typing and eating at the same time, especially because I do all my writing on a laptop. But I do get snacky here and there, so usually it’s something easy to grab, and okay to have sit for a while if I strike a good vein on my WIP. Fruit, cheese, crackers, nuts—stuff like that. And occasionally gummy candies, because-obviously!
4. If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? Why? What food would you serve? Elise from Sea So Blue. I think I’d serve her snow crab (obvs) because it’s her favorite, and mine too. And I’d tell her that grief is temporary, and encourage her to be happy while she can. (Is that vague enough without being spoilery?)
5. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? Oh man. This one actually required a LOT of research. I learned to scuba dive (and did it in the ocean a few times), studied whales and went whale watching, learned about the most dangerous creatures in the sea, and the most poisonous. I had to check facts about criminal procedures with a missing persons’ (thought to be a murder investigation) and what would happen if police suspect foul play but don’t have a body, and also I had to use my knowledge of driving a boat, and learn about a different type than mine. There’s probably more, but that’s a long enough list, I think.
6. How do you relax, or what do you enjoy doing when you are not writing? If it’s summer, I’m usually out on the lake on our boat. Or near a beach somewhere. Wherever there is water, that’s where I want to be. In the winter, we have snow where I live, so that’s a lot harder. Usually I’m either home reading and enjoying my family, or shopping, because that’s where I go to get out of the house when it’s cold (and I can’t take cold very well).
7. What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it? I used to say it was to become a bestselling author, but this year, Sea So Blue hit the USA Today bestseller list. My new goal is to make a steady paycheck from my books, and maybe someday sell my movie rights. Oh, also, someday I want to own a beach house—so it wouldn’t hurt to get rich! wink wink
8. What do you fear most? My husband and/or children being seriously hurt or dying.
9. What advice would you give someone who wants to write a book some day? No matter how you choose to pursue publishing, study the craft of writing well over and over again. Practice, and never stop practicing, studying, and learning. And never give up just because you get rejected or have a bad review. OH, also, don’t read the reviews!