I’m 78, and I feel 40-ish. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done? I was most aggressive as a teenager, chasing my husband…until I allowed him to catch me. I must have made a good choice as we are still married fifty-eight years later.
My husband and I will celebrate our 57 years this year. When did you first discover that you were a writer? I still have a folder full of faded typewritten short stories from high school years, but my first published novel was in 2014. I’ve also published short stories in magazine and at least 16 anthologies.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading. I read a lot of cozy mysteries, some detective procedural novels, or books set in a different time/place.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world? Knowing that life is a series of ups and down, you must realize that when you are down, you must not despair as things will always improve. Conversely, when things are good, don’t be surprised at potential troubled times ahead. We will get through the troubled times of 2020.
How do you choose your characters’ names? I love giving my characters outrageous names. In the Spirit Woman of Lockleer Mountain, the main characters are Lou Shoemaker and Nate Darling. Mrs. Agnes Agatha Odboddy stars in my Mrs. Odboddy series with her friends Chief Waddlemucker and Mildred Higgenbottom.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of? Staying married for 58 years and raising two successful, profession children, four wonderful grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. I like to think I must have done something right.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why? Of course it would be a cat, as I have always owned cats and love them dearly. Black Cat narrates part of each cozy cat mystery novel. He has human thoughts and feelings and with his quirky character…probably also a good deal of my own personality.
What is your favorite food? Chinese food, either take out or dining in.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it? I’ve written over 40 short stories, but for sixty years, never shared them with anyone for fear of criticism. Since 2014, I’ve published stories in at least 16 anthologies, magazine articles, and published nine novels. If you have a talent, never let fear of criticism hold you back.
Please give us the first page of the book.
“I’d just stepped away from my rig when I heard a noise behind me.” Lou spread her arms wide as she continued. “Not thirty feet away, a black bear stood on a large boulder. I heard its claws click as it scrabbled across the rock, dropped into the grass on all fours, and lumbered toward me.” She wrinkled her nose. “It was so close, I could smell it.”
“My gosh!” Judy’s voice shook. Her dark eyes opened wider. She leaned across the small pub table and grasped Lou’s arm. “What happened next? Weren’t you scared?”
“You bet. I froze. I figured she had a cub nearby, the worst possible situation.”
Judy’s mouth quivered, as if she imagined facing the bear. She glanced nervously around the pub, toward the bar, and then to the men playing darts in the back of the room.
“I thought I might be the bear’s main course that night and headlines in tomorrow’s Lockleer Mountain Gazette.” Lou grinned at her friend and winked.
“Lulu Jane Shoemaker! Is this a true story, or are you telling tall tales?” Judy gave Lou’s shoulder a smack. “Go on. What happened? Tell me!”
“Obviously the bear didn’t eat me.” Lou folded her arms and leaned back.
Deputy Sheriff Nate Darling slid into the chair next to Lou and set his beer on the table. “What’s going on with two such lovely ladies?” He glanced up at a raucous roar from the direction of the dart game.
“Lou says she met up with a bear today.” Judy raised her voice to be heard over the jukebox. “She’s taking too much time telling it, and I’m beginning to think she’s pulling my leg.”
Having heard bits of the conversation and the word bear several times, a few customers nearby turned their chairs toward Lou’s table. She raised her hands for a more dramatic effect, enjoying the attention. “It’s true. I wouldn’t lie about something like this. The bear opened its mouth and roared. It gave me the chills. Instead of thinking about how not to be eaten alive, I thought, Think fast or die. Wow! “That would look good on a bumper sticker on the back of The Pooper Scooper.”
Nate leaned closer. “Lou! You’re killing us! Get to the point. What did you do?”
Lou chuckled. “I slowly stepped back toward my truck. With each step backward, the bear advanced. Me─one step back. Her─one step forward, as if we were playing a game of Bear Eats Camper chess. I pivoted, grabbed the lever on the side of my sewer truck, and flipped the switch. As soon as the pump kicked on, the bear turned and scrambled back into the woods, lickety-split.”
“Wow! That was a close call. After that, I need another drink.” Nate stood and backed up from the table. “Lou? Come join us in a game of darts.” He tried to pull her to her feet. “Who wants to challenge our favorite septic tank pumper-outer?” She resisted and sat back down. Several men standing nearby shook their heads and returned to the bar.
Shoemaker,” Judy said. “I don’t believe a word of it. You must be the biggest
tall-tale teller on
“I did no such thing. It’s the God’s truth, every word. And, for your information, Nate, that would be Environmental Waste Disposal Engineer to you, thank you very much.”
How can readers find you on the Internet? The Spirit Woman of Lockleer Mountain is available in e-book ($3.99) and paperback ($16.00) at Amazon. Or contact me directly for a signed paperback copy. Find it here. http://tinyurl.com/y82t4xsh.
Thank You, Elaine, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me. I’m eager to read my copy.
Readers, here are links to the book.
https://amzn.to/2Nb1fhX - Paperback
https://amzn.to/2Lx3bkx - Kindle
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