People often ask me...

Q:  Where do you get your ideas?


A:  This is a question that all writers are asked, and I feel sure the answer is the same for all of us—which is, stories are everywhere.  All you have to do is let them in.

 

To be more specific, the protagonists in my children's books are usually from broken homes, are part of a blended families, and/or experiencing disruptions in their livess, which , if I'm honest, points back to my childhood. So, it's safe to say I'm writing from experience.

 

As for my adult mystery series, which is set in Oklahoma and features Native Americans, I must also point to my past -- the distant one. I have Native American blood in both my father's and mother's line and have been intrigued not only with tracing my own family history but also learning more about the lifestyles, customs, and mythologies of my ancestors.

 

Q:  Are you working on a new book?

A:  Always! Either new book or revising an existing one.  I have several completed books, for both adult and children, that haven’t found a home yet.

 

Q:  What are your favorite kinds of books to read?

A:  I loved to read mystery and sci-fi when I was a child, and still do.  My favorite adult mystery writers are Tony Hillerman and Robert B.Parker (both of whom, sadly, are no longer with us).  I especially enjoy books that deal with myth and legends, such as The Dark is Rising, by Susan Cooper.  I also enjoy books about children and young adults who overcome difficult situations to succeed, such as Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn Dixie and Keith McFarland’s, Bounce

 

Q: You've worked in a lot of different fields. When did you decide you were meant to be a writer?

A: I've known since I was very young that I wanted to write -- and did when I could work it in around working, raising children, and managing life in general. However, I was only able to pursue a writing career seriously when I left my job as Director of Corporate Communications for a high-tech company in Colorado. Two cross-country moves withing a few years, however, slowed the process.

 

I began by experimenting with the different genres to see what felt right, studying the industry to see how it worked, and entering contests to get feedback on my work. My success with contests encouraged me to go on:

 

* July 2002:  Pacific Northwest Writers’ Conference, Seattle, WA

Second place in Children’s Category

* June 2006: Writers’ League of Texas Conference, Austin, TX

First Place: Children’s Category

* May 2008:  Oklahoma Writer’s Federation

First Place:  Historical Fiction; Second Place: Children’s Fiction

* May 2009:  Oklahoma Writers’ Federation

Second Place:  Mainstream Novel

* October 2010: Houston Writers’ Guild

First Place:  Adult Mystery; Second Place: YA Novel