Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I've been writing for as long as I can remember.  My mother read to me, starting back when I was a baby, and I could read myself by the time I went to kindergarten.  I wrote my first little story when I was in 1st grade.  In 6th grade I was writing science fiction stories about the extraterrestrial origins of our various teachers.  I had a bit of a hiatus after that, but always loved writing letters as well as essay questions and math story problems, which was, of course, rather weird since most people dreaded them.  As an only child I loved books, which were my best friends, and always planned on someday writing one myself.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

When I was still working full-time, I wrote in the evenings, but now that I'm retired, I can control my schedule and write whenever I want.  When I'm writing or editing a book, I spend every possible moment working on it.  I really become the "obsessive author" at that point.  I find when I set a deadline for myself that I have to do my writing first thing, before I open my email or even peek at social media, since they suck up time like a virtual black hole.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

When I first started writing I liked to draft stories by hand on a big yellow pad of legal-sized paper, but that was also in the day of typewriters when making revisions was so bothersome.  Now I write directly into the computer.  I have a desktop, since I'm more comfortable with a regular keyboard as opposed to the flat ones on a laptop.  I have a granddaughter writing a book on her phone that she posts to Wattpad.  That is totally beyond my comprehension!

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part of writing is when your muse dictates the story into your head so fast that you can't type fast enough to keep up with it.  This is similar to, and often occurs, when your character(s) take over the story.  So often my characters have gotten into such a mess that I didn't have any idea how they'd get out of it, yet somehow they always figured it out on their own.  I love it when that happens.

My least favorite part about writing is keeping everything organized, whether it's research or sequencing of scenes when you have your characters separated with different things happening in different places.  This has been a real challenge for me with science fiction where they can be on different planets or traveling in space, where Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity comes into play, and time is passing at a different rate for each person.  Keeping all that straight can be a real headache!

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

The first spark of an idea for "Beyond the Hidden Sky" came about from the first "Star Wars" movie when R2D2 and 3CPO blasted off in the escape pod.  My premise was "What if a rebellious teen aged girl got blasted off in an escape pod while her family was emigrating to another planet?"  And the story took off from there. 
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The story took many years to write and went through numerous revisions and edits, so many that at a certain point my science fiction technology had become science fact and I needed to do an upgrade!  Now things are moving so fast it won't be long before what I have will also be science fact, even though we are a few years away from colonizing other planets and a psi-link to our smart phones.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I have established a presence on quite a few social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, have a website for my books, write blogs that include both writing tips and science subjects, conduct events and giveaways from time to time on Goodreads, and have shared a book fair booth with other authors.  I'm an introvert by nature, so this is the most difficult part for me.

Since science fiction inspired me to become a physicist, I hope my books will also inspire young people to pursue a career in a technical field.  I incorporate real science into my books so they learn something along the way, so I also like to meet and connect with science teachers, some of whom have included my box set in their classroom as extra credit reading. 

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I have a few chapters written for my next one, but I'm presently in more of a research mode.  Since I write hard science fiction, I do my best to assure that the science is accurate with the sci-fi excursions credible.  I keep in touch with my fans and maintain a presence through my blogs and newsletter plus continue to promote the box set of my tetra-logy via social media.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

This would be the book I'm researching.  It's a spin-off from a minor character in "A Dark of Endless Days" who was a teenager when Creena, the main character in "Beyond the Hidden Sky", stayed with his family in Utah.  Now he's grown up, has a PhD in theoretical physics, and is determined to find her, wherever she is.  This takes him into the Top Secret realms of Area 51 and UFOs, which turns out to be a rather dark and treacherous path for both him and his family.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Just start writing, take classes, get together with other writers, either in local groups or online, and keep at it.  If a person has the desire, then they can develop the talent.  Most talents are developed as the result of an intense interest and love for a certain pursuit as opposed to simply being born with it and thus not requiring any training or practice.  Finding a unique niche is important in today's competitive market, but the most important thing when you start out is to learn your trade and hone your skills.  You never stop learning as a writer and everything you write teaches you something.  Being an avid reader is also essential.  Note what works and what doesn't.  Sometimes you learn the most from other writer's mistakes.  It's easy to be blind to your own weaknesses, then recognize them when someone else does the same thing.

A Question for Me:

What's the best way to organize your book's chapter outline, research, character and story notes?

Wow. A great question. I am sort of a 'write by the seat of my pants' author, but that doesn't mean I don't construct a loose outline and know what my characters are like and keep story notes. Let's just say, everything is on paper, and the paper is in a folder, and the folder is shoved into a drawer - but at least I know what's in there and it's 'fairly' organized. 

Please let me know when you find someone who knows how to do that one well. I could use some help myself!


Thanks, Marcha!

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1 comment:

  1. Love you answer about organizing the books material. It sounds a lot like what I do. I, also, write by the seat of my pants and have random notes stuffed in a file folder. Somewhere.... LOL!


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