When did you decide to pursue writing and eventually publication?
I got serious about writing nearly thirty years ago. At the time, it felt like I was arriving late on the scene, which makes me chuckle now. But I’d been writing for my own enjoyment and communication purposes for as long as I can remember. I finally reached the point where I wanted to attack writing as a “career.’ Back then (more than 200 books ago) it seemed like the impossible dream—and that era came with a lot of rejection. But I was stubborn and a bit naïve—plus I loved the writing process.
What is your writing process like? Do you write daily? Are you a plotter or a panster?
Well, as I just mentioned, I loved the process. And I still do. The reason I love it is because I’m a pantser. I love not knowing exactly where I’m going. I like the adventure of discovery, finding answers, being surprised by the unexpected. This is what keeps me going back to my writing studio, where I write almost daily. Usually just on weekdays—and normal office hours. Unless I’m crunching on a deadline, then I’ll put in a few more hours.
What is your favorite part of the writing process? Least favorite?
I love it when the story really kicks into gear, when the pace picks up and I can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen next. Like yesterday (a Sunday) I told my husband that I was eager to get back to my current book because I wanted to find out what is going to happen to the heroine (she and her teenage niece are in great peril). My least favorite thing is having to make an outline for a book (remember, I’m a pantser) and nowadays some publishers insist on outlines before they give contracts. I try not to grumble too loudly.
Please tell us about your latest release.
My latest suspense book is called Against the Tide (Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin, Oct. 2016).
Who or what inspired this special story?
The location was actually very inspirational. We used to own a beach cabin in a setting like this one and I’ve crafted several novels in a fictional locale that’s very similar.
Is there anything else you would like to share? What will you be working on next?
I’m working on a suspense proposal right now (I’ve already finished the dreaded outline) and far enough into the story to want to keep going. Interestingly, this story was inspired by a real life situation that happened to me this fall—and at a time when I wanted to take a ‘break’ from writing. It feels like even when I try to escape writing, a story will hunt me down and force me to write it.
Can you tell us something about yourself that a few people may know?
I swam across a crocodile infested river when I was nineteen (more than once!).
What is your most treasured possession?
It depends on how you define “treasured” and “possession.” Excluding living things, it might be an antique rocking chair that my grandfather left me when I was a teen. The chair had been brought to Oregon by his pioneering family in the 1850’s. I consider it a treasure.
If you had to leave your house suddenly, what is the one thing you would grab, other than family and pets?
As much as I’d want to grab my rocking chair, I might have to go for my computer hard drive—it still has a lot of unpublished books on it.
Thank you to much! Where can readers find out more about you and your books?