I am what my dad would call a pencil-pusher by day, though technically I’m a keyboard jockey since accounts are kept on computers now. By night I’m still pushing that metaphorical pencil, but working with words rather than numbers, as an author. I live close to the KC area, but was raised in a small town. I’m not married, though I’ve come close a few times.
It wasn’t until middle school that I really developed a love of reading.
I produced a quite a bit of rambling silly prose at that time, but didn’t consider myself a writer. In fact, I was so shy I didn’t tell anyone about my stories, let alone share them. How things change. I overcame that shyness later, and now I’m thrilled when anyone reads my books.
When I’m not busy holding my sofa down in front of the television, I enjoy writing, fishing with my dad or my best bud, spending time with my family, reading, dating, and staying informed about current events. I may even grow a garden this year and I’m tossing around the idea of learning how to cook. I don’t mean throwing something in a microwave, but really cooking. This goes against my naturally lazy nature, but the research my co-author and I did for A Dangerous Tune got me thinking about eating healthier. (Our female main character has food sensitivities)
My family has been very supportive as far as my writing is concerned. It is partly due to their encouragement that I dusted off some of my old musings to set the mood for writing my first two romance novels and getting started on a couple more. I already knew I wanted to self-publish, so that part of the process was fairly easy. Once I had released the first two novels, I then took time off from my solo works to collaborate with a couple of other authors and produce two co-written books. I really lucked out with these two talented writers as we had similar approaches to the process of writing and to the necessary tasks of proofreading, editing, and revision.
My first book, The Profiteer, was inspired by the notion of change, our tendency to fear it, and the fact that change, while sometimes painful, can be a positive thing. Romance is a perfect vehicle for this concept. I think we’ve all had that experience of dreading something, only to find out it was nothing like we imagined. Or meeting someone who unexpectedly sets our lives on an entirely different track.
My second book, Sweeter for the Pain, was actually inspired by seeing a war vet on television, a man who survived a horrific attack that left him scarred for life. I have great admiration for this soldier and found the story of his suffering and courage deeply moving. Though the novel I wrote doesn’t deal with war, the male main character is scarred inside and out, and struggles with the aftermath of a tragic accident.
I was then lucky enough to stumble across writer Madison Hartt online and we decided to work together on Untrusting Hearts. Madison has a love for New Orleans, and that was the main inspiration for our story. I’ve never been to New Orleans, but Madison has. The book couldn’t have been written without her wonderful collaboration. We created a couple of stubborn characters and gave them a conflicted attraction that simmers and sparks against the backdrop of The Big Easy.
After that, I had an idea for a book that involved antique phonographs. I know very little about antiques, but I had a solid grasp of a plot line. So, I searched out an author with some knowledge on the subject and proposed that we try writing together. That’s how Rosemary Carr and I ended up collaborating on A Dangerous Tune, a romantic suspense/mystery featuring a character who acquires a stalker when she inherits some old phonographs from her grandmother.
At this point, two of my books are in Kindle Unlimited. The jury is still out on whether that was the right move for Madison and me, but I think it’s good for the readers.
I’m not sure what’s next for my writing. I do have a couple of romance novels started but I’ve been feeling an urge to try my hand at science fiction or possibly mystery. As most indie authors know, it’s difficult to carve out time in our busy lives to sit down and write. Then there’s the issue of motivation, especially after a long day at work. However, when I do get motivated, I find it hard to stop. It’s invigorating.
To me, reading is very important. Right from the start of our education, learning to read opens up worlds for a child. In fact, I feel that success in almost any other subject depends first and foremost on a person’s reading ability. Educational value aside, it’s also fun. Reading is an adventure, a way to understand something without having to actually experience it, a ticket to places we might otherwise be unable to visit. Not only that, but reading is a great escape. And that is what I want to provide in my writing. A pleasant escape from the real world, a chance to lose yourself in someone else’s story, and the experience of seeing things through eyes not your own. I hope that’s what my books do for readers.