- Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I hate this question because I’d rather talk about books or crocheting or anything but me. I love to write, crochet, spend time with my family. I’ve written since I was in my late 30s getting articles, essays, and poems published. 2014 I started publishing my books. I tried the traditional route and had some interest but no publisher went the distance. Therefore I’m self-published.
My family is very important to me. I have three adult daughters and a husband. He and I have been together for 37 years. My daughters are my pride and joy! They are also my loudest and best cheerleaders.
I started out just wanting to publish my stories but after my daughters encouraged me I took my scribbled patterns and started publishing them.
- What is the title of your current work (WIP or recently published). and what is its genre?
Which one? Without fail, I almost always have three or four projects going on. Right now I’m finishing up Wayfarer Resolve – next in my Wayfarer series – makes book 18 with a nice short story prequel. This one is in the early production phase. Wild Magic 2 (I don’t have an actual name for this yet) is in the edit phase. This adds to the story of Mel and Leland. I hope to address some of the questions left by the first book. Do Mel and Leland become lovers? Will the two provinces go to war over the use of magic? Seven Sisters (working title only – maybe) is in the writing stage. I’m about two thirds of the way done with it. This is another sci fi / fantasy type book. There are other starts that I tinker with but none are as active as the three above. In general, I write in science fiction and fantasy
- Is this book suitable for children, or is it adults-only? If there’s mature content, what type of mature content does the book contain?
Wild Magic is child friendly though some of the concepts are not easy – racism, death, power. Wayfarer is not child friendly. Seven Sisters – I’m not sure yet. It depends on how I edit it. While Wild Magic doesn’t have sex in it, the second one does have some. There are violent scenes in there. Seven Sisters has violence and a few sex scenes. Wayfarer has it all – sex, violence, and language.
- What inspired you to write this work?
Wayfarer – the entire series is my middle daughter’s fault. I finished a project and she said mom write me a space adventure. I did. When she finished reading it, she demanded another… then another… and well you get the idea. As for the details of the book, I’ve grown up on Star Wars and Star Trek and space exploration. I tried to think of what could be different about a space adventure. I knew I wanted to start with a female lead who was less than confident with herself. This lead to well it’s space so who is she? What race? I created the Wayfarer race based on the gypsy or traveler style of life except they were the first explorers of space for the humans. From there everything sort of cascaded into place.
Wild Magic was inspired while driving to and from Indiana (where one of my daughters was living). The landscape in the opening scene of Wild Magic features some of the landscape between Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. From there the story developed. Wild Magic 2 feeds off the landscape for Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Canada.
Seven Sisters just came to me. It’s based in a post-plague Earth type planet. The main character is 18 and trying to protect six younger girls. Aliens (yup went there) are here to help but really they just came to find their true mates. In a chance encounter, Mycos and Lydia meet and he pursues her. From there it just dominoes.
- What makes this book special, unique, or interesting? How does it “stand out”?
So the theme for all three of these books is racism. Life imitates art or vice versa. Each of these books addresses prejudices between groups. Instead of doing color of skin or religion, it is based on another aspect. In Wayfarer it’s based on species. Some core humans believe they are the superior beings and the rest of the species should cater to them. In Wild Magic it is based on who has magical skills and who doesn’t – though that will be addressed more fully in the third book. In Seven Sisters it’s based on class more than anything though there is conflict between the aliens and the humans. I didn’t intend to bring prejudice and bigotry into the plot so prominently but the characters insisted.
- Tell us some key information about the main character(s), both protagonists and antagonists.
In Wayfarer Resolve, Adara is a mother of four, wife, mixed race (1/2 human and 1/2 Wayfarer) who is made mother of the clans for Wayfarers. She’s a quiet soul. She resists the role of leadership but in this book she settles in and takes a firm hand of how the Wayfarers will be run.
The children in the book play a larger role. It is not easy to write children’s dialog. But they are key in this one as Adara is criticized often for trying to be mom and leader.
The cast of this series is large and the antagonists in the book are multilayered.
- What is your back cover blurb? Or if you don’t have one yet, how would you pitch your work in 200 words or less?
Fighting bias, prejudice, and terrorists, Adara and Decker are attacked through their children. Out exploring their sectors of space, Adara settles into being Mathair Naclan – mother of the clans. At the home planets, Hal, Dimitri, and others cope with vandalism, sabotage, and racism. The Humans only group rises with violence and hate to attack the Wayfarers from within.
- Share a tempting bit of the plot with us. Is there a particular scene that you’re really excited about? Why does it excite you?
Decker does not like anyone touching Adara. She’s his and even after all the years they’ve been together he’s protective. One person in particular triggers this response in him. Patr. Patr is an Etienne who has adopted Adara as a sister. Yet, when Decker first met him, he was jealous of the connection. In this book, Patr talks to Adara knowing this will provoke Decker which it does. Decker is fully aware Patr does this on purpose but Patr asks him “What are older brothers for?” This closes a circle for all of them. Decker moves from jealous to brotherly with Patr. Patr’s key in moving their relationship along in the first book. So in this book to have the annoyance Decker feels shift to brotherly affection for Patr closes a cycle in the series.
- Share up to 800 words of your current work with us (with an intro of up to 200 words to establish context).
“Look what we have here boys,” Deming sneered. “A little Wayfarer whore.”
Drake stiffened on hearing the words thrown at his maite saol as he stepped into the workout area. Alma put a hand on his arm and pulled him to the side of the room. “Watch,” she said quietly.
“Oh baby, let’s have a good time,” Dyer said grabbing Mylin by the arm, pulling her close to him with her back to him. Mylin struggled against his strong arms. Stomping on his foot, she jabbed an elbow into his diaphragm. Air whooshed out of him as he bent over, releasing her. He ducked her elbow to his nose as she spun out and away from him.
Deming grabbed her. “You’re not very friendly,” he growled twisting her arm behind her back as he dragged her close to his body. Face to face, he leered at her.
Drake started forward but Alma stopped him again. His face reddened with anger.
“You’re right,” Mylin said. She stepped into Deming. “Let me show you how friendly I can be.” She kneed him in the groin. As he went down, she slammed her forehead into his nose.
“Shit,” Deming said. “Shit.” He grabbed his bloody nose and his groin. He lay on the floor curled into a ball.
“Sorry,” Mylin said not knowing what to do.
“Don’t be sorry,” Owyn asked. “Your two attackers are down. What should you be doing?”
“Running,” Mylin said worrying her lower lips as blood flowed from Deming’s nose.
“Kick ‘em in the balls again,” Alma said striding into the middle of the room. Her stomach tight as she watched Deming writhe on the floor. “Really Dyer was down but not out. You gotta make sure they’re down and out.”
“Vicious much,” Dyer said squatting near Deming.
“What would you do,” Mylin asked turning to Alma.
“You got Dyer to let you go,” Alma said. “The next thing to do is run. Running takes you away from your attackers. You gotta be smart about your running. None of the girly running.”
“She did a better job on Deming,” Owyn said. “However, once free from him, she should have run because now his buddy is down, Dyer’s going to be pissed.”
“You’re confusing me,” Mylin said.
“Any chance you get to run,” Owyn said. “Get the hell away. You’ve got speed and endurance for running.”
“Yes,” Mylin said. “I like to run.”
“Don’t worry about the damage you do,” Owyn said. “Get free and get gone.”
“Alma,” Mylin asked.
“He’s right mostly,” Alma conceded. “Both of them were down enough running might have done it. When you’re going up against a bigger opponent, escape is the best option. The problem with running is they have longer strides than you do. They may catch up to you.”
“May,” Owyn said. “If she’s sneaky, she can get away and look for other ways to protect herself.”
“We can use VR to work on some of those techniques,” Dyer said rubbing his stomach. “Except I think Deming and I are going to let some of the others work with her.”
- What is the easiest part of writing for you? And what is the hardest?
Telling a story is the easiest part. Sitting with my laptop and putting the details down of a story is easy and fun. When I write I’m transported to a different place. My family has to remind me to eat, shower, sleep. I’ve set alarms so when I have to get up the next day for my day job, I can get to bed at a reasonable time. Otherwise I’ll write until the story is done. I always say my characters talk to me and tell me their story. It feels like that’s exactly what they do.
The hardest part of writing is marketing for me. Writing – or I should say when I talk about writing – is a multilayered process. Yes, it’s about writing and getting a story out of my head. This is the first step. From there writers (especially self-published ones) go into editing, cover design, blurb writing, product development – i.e. all the prep to get it from a rough draft to a final version, to production. Production is all about prepping the files, cover art, blurb for publication. This means creating multiple documents for the manuscript to go into different formats. The steps seem endless and one of them is marketing. Marketing is a lot of hit and miss. There isn’t a lot of cause and effect. What works for one book won’t necessarily work for the next one.
- Finally, if you could offer some advice to up-and-coming writers, what would that advice be?
Write your way. Educate yourself to be a better writer. This means learn from your mistakes and always work on improving. Read books on writing and glean from them the things which help you improve. Don’t let people tell you it’s a waste of time. If it brings you joy, do it. Don’t expect to make a fortune. Write. Write. Write.
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