A sense of place is important to me in my writing and I want the locations I select to have the same weight and feel as a character. I’ve traveled or lived in all of the places I write about and in that sense, there is a great deal of me in the settings. As for the characters, I’ve spent a lifetime watching and listening closely to other people and they still fascinate me daily! Just yesterday, I overheard a hilarious conversation between a couple waiting in line for a Valentine’s Day dinner and parts of it were immediately woven into a scene I am writing.
I’m like that. Everywhere I go and everything I see and hear are fodder for my books. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’ve always loved to travel. When I was in my early twenties, I opened up the Sunday paper and saw an excellent deal on a weekend flight to
I closed the paper, packed a small bag, and headed to O’Hare airport with my passport
and a credit card. It was summer, I was a teacher, and I jumped the first plane
I could book. Three days of museums, parks, and restaurant bars later and I was
on plane home. That experience has
framed my current sense of wonder and wanderlust—may it ever be so! Madrid
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
My earliest memories involve the written word.
was my first hobby—writing
in my diary my first act of each day. I loved the lockable diaries as a little
girl, and I still journal long hand nearly every morning. I received positive
feedback on my stories and creative writing from my elementary school days
onward—and I really think that helped shape my inner view of myself as a
writer. I loved how books could move me, and I wanted to be able to give that
feeling and sense of awe and wonder through the written word to others. Reading
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My reading tastes are very eclectic! At any given moment, you will find sci-fi, murder mysteries, thrillers, C.S. Lewis, and the novel of the day on my nightstand and in my Kindle.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Exercise. Staying connected to great friends and family. And the love of a good horse.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Great question! I “collect” names. When I hear an interesting name in my travels and interactions, they go straight into my notes. I will also look for translations of names that have interesting meanings in concert with an interesting sounding name. When selecting names for major characters, I have to really like the name and feel like it “fits” the character I’m crafting since I’ll be spending a lot of time with that character. My editor helps by pointing out names that seem or sound similar, or when I’m missing a trend I may have started by mistake. In one book I had started naming my characters names beginning with the same letter—and I never noticed it until my editor pointed it out!
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I’ve been very blessed in many areas professionally and personally over the years. By far, my most precious accomplishments are people—endearing relationships with women and men I love and respect. Being able to discern something within a person they may not yet have noticed and helping them draw out and strengthen that talent or ability. That’s what I’m best at in the lives of others, I think.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Probably a shark—only because they have to keep moving to stay vibrant and alive. I can identify with that!
What is your favorite food?
So many possibilities! Dark chocolate. Fresh salads made by someone else. Beautifully prepared and presented fresh fish.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I can easily fall into insecurities and the old “does my work really matter?” mantra if I’m not careful, and I have to guard my thoughts to keep from distorted thinking. My current “fix” for this tendency is a verse I felt led to during a morning devotional that I am claiming for my writing in 2020: “And they were praising God because of me.” Galatians 1:24. I write this verse at the top of every chapter I’m writing in my current work to remind me that the work belongs to the Lord, and He has plans for my writing. My writing does matter so it is up to me to write well as often and as honestly as I can.
Tell us about the featured book.
Capsized by Death is the fourth book in my Jo Oliver thriller series. In this book, while Police Chief Jo Oliver finds herself on an island paradise awaiting her dream wedding, she must keep a killer with ties to her past from derailing her plans for the future.
Please give us the first page of the book.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you for sharing this book with my blog readers and me. I’m eager to read it.
Readers, here are links to the book.Capsized by Death (A Jo Oliver Thriller) Capsized by Death (A Jo Oliver Thriller Book 4)
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