1. When did realize that you wanted to be an author?
I’ve been writing since I was seven, so always. I started writing seriously after college, and I started self-publishing in early 2012.
2. How long does it take for you to write one of your books?
It depends on the length, but I am a fast writer, and my average time is 2-3 weeks. It’s a little longer for my fantasy, closer to a month, because there’s so much going on.
3. How do you balance your work schedule when you’re busy writing?
This is my full time job now, but when I was working, I wrote nights and weekends. Now I work a regular schedule, usually from 9-5. I like to have regular hours for my writing, so I can plan errands and all of life’s little interruptions, and know I’ll get in my daily word count.
4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I make up stories in my head. Full-fledged, multi layered stories, with all the characters and scenes. It’s been a pastime since I was about 10, and now it’s how I come up with the storyline for my books.
5. How do you come up with ideas for your books?
I’m always reading, and the start of an idea will hit me while I’m reading something else. I also get inspired when I travel – I found the visual location for my new fantasy while I was in New Zealand last December, on Doubtful Sound. I have a folder filled with ideas – and not enough time to write them all.
6. When did you write your first book?
I actually wrote my first book at age 7, for a school contest. It was about a girl who meets an alien. I even bound it and drew the cover. I’ve been hooked ever since.
7. What are your hobbies when you’re not writing?
I’m a big reader. I’ll read just about anything, from fiction to biographies. I also love photography – I’ve been taking photos since I was 10. I’m a history buff, and I travel every year, finding the history that I read about.
8. What does your family and close friends think of your writing?
They are all really supportive. A couple of my friends read everything I write.
9. What was one of the most interesting things that you learned about yourself when you published your first book?
That I could write, format, and find a cover for a book, all by myself. It was a real process, and time intensive – formatting wasn’t easy in the old days – but once I learned, I knew I could do it again. And I did.
10. How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
I have 40+ books and novellas published, plus a couple of short stories. My favorite – that’s a tough one! I’d have to say it’s a tie between my first series, The Claire Wiche Chronicles, and my cozy mystery series, The Maggie Mulgrew Mysteries. Both feature strong, independent women, and I loved writing every book. I’ll keep writing the Maggie Mulgrew books until I run out of ideas.
11. What do you think makes a good story?
A cast of interesting characters, a unique story that throws them into unusual or dangerous situations, and backs them into a corner, forcing them to think – or fight – their way out.
12. Where do you like to kick back and write your books?
I write in two places: my roomy, sunny office, or my local bookstore. I enjoy background noise, because I’ve written in public places for years. I have music or the television as background noise when I’m in my office. Writing in complete silence is deathly for me.