Frequently Asked Reader Questions
Q.: You’re a working mother of four, and volunteer in your community. When exactly do you make time to write?
A.: I’ll be the first to admit that it was tough finding the time to get those thoughts for a storyline from my head onto paper.
After a few failed attempts, I succeeded. For me, the right time to write is when I say goodbye to the duties of mother, maid, cook, chauffer, doctor, business owner and referrer and stumble down the stairs, groping in semi-darkness for my best friend, the coffeepot.
The illuminated numbers on the microwave indicate one o’clock in the morning.
Q.: What should readers know about your books before they buy them?
A.: Readers should know that my books deal with real-life situations, which just so happens to have a romantic spin to it. In fact, some might consider the topics to be a little too touchy.
Domestic violence was the premise for my debut novel, When I’m With You. The premise for my sophomore release, When A Man Loves A Woman, focuses on a woman who after eight years battles the pain and humiliation of finding her ex-husband in bed with another man. And my third release If I Were Your Woman, tackles how a couple deals with testicular cancer.
So if readers want to read a good story they can relate to, I’m positive they’ll enjoy my stories.
Q.: Do your books have a HEA (Happily-Ever-After)?
A.: Yes, the HEA is inevitable in all my stories. However, what makes the read interesting is what it takes to get to the HEA!
Q.: What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your books?
A.: With all of my stories, there are three things I’d like readers to take away. First, I want them to understand the beauty and power of love that exists between the right man and woman, Secondly, I want readers to know and cherish the importance of family. Finally, I hope readers can discover strategies that they can apply to whatever real-life situation they’re facing to help overcome it.
Q.: Where do you get your ideas?
A.: Ideas for my stories come from a variety of sources such as: my experience as a health educator, newspapers, magazine as well as everyday conversations with friends and colleagues.
Q.: Do you plan your stories first with an outline or does it come to you as you write it?
A.: I’m definitely a writer who needs an outline!! However, I must confess, once I get into a story, my characters have a tendency to lead me down a different road than I’d plan to take them on. This doesn’t mean that I toss my outline in the trash. Far to the contrary!! What I will do is pause to listen to what my characters are saying and adjust the outline accordingly.
Q.: Do you know the end of the story at the beginning?
A.: Generally, I do. My job as a writer is to ensure that I connect all the dots from start to finish and keep readers turning from page, after page, after page.
Q.: What aspects of your own life are woven into your book?
The humorous side of me tends to come out in my stories. Also, readers see how I view family as well as how I’ve learn to deal with the curves life can oftentimes throw our way.
Q.: How do you spark your creativity?
A.: Reading newspapers, magazines, or sometimes talking with friends or colleagues about a certain subject. My mind goes on a whirlwind and I find myself saying, “Hmmm, wonder how I can turn this into a novel?”
Q.: How many books do you usually write a year?
A.: So far, I’ve been able to get at least two rough drafts completed per year
Q.: How much research do you do and how do you do it?
A.: I actually do a lot of research on the particular premise of my stories. The last thing a writer wants to do is lose the credibility of their readers by putting unsubstantiated information in their books about a particular topic.
Q.: What are some words of wisdom for those who would like to be published?
A.: The first tip I’d give is to prepare. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways: reading books from authors published in the genre you’re writing in, taking courses or workshops, entering contests, and if possible, speaking with published authors in your targeted genre. Once you have a workable draft of your manuscript, join a critique group and above all, accept constructive feedback. All of these things will help in the end so that you’re providing a quality product for agents and editors to review.
A couple of books I’d highly encourage writers to purchase are: Building Better Plots by Robert Kernen and Writing Novels that Sell by Jack Bickham.
Q.: Does reader feedback help you with your writing? Is feedback something that is very important to you?
A.: I love to receive feedback from my readers and yes, it is extremely important to me!
Q.: How do feel about negative reviews?
A.: I’m not naïve enough to believe that readers will like every book I write. And if I receive a bad review, I realize it’s not the end of the world. A review, whether positive or negative, is one person’s opinion and I’ve learn to take the bitter with the sweet.