WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A WRITER? I have loved books since I could first hold one in my hands. Around the age of nine, I began to think that I could write stories as well and started my first book. Through high school, my favourite English teacher encouraged me to keep on writing. With his words in the back of my mind, I continued to take creative writing classes throughout my adult life. The culmination of my efforts resulted in the completion of my first novel after I retired.
WAS THERE A TEACHER OR OTHER MENTOR WHO INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING? My high school English teacher was my first mentor. I have had several since and with each step, I have been encouraged to continue.
HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR YOUR AWARD WINNING BOOK? An in-class writing exercise resulted in the short story that became the background story for my book. The original character, David, didn’t want to end his journey and nagged me to keep writing until I had brought all of his family along on the ride.
WHICH OF YOUR CHARACTERS FROM YOUR AWARD WINNING TITLE DO YOU BELIEVE ARE MOST LIKE YOU AND WHY? I would like to think that I have the determination and grit of Sarah, although I’m not sure I’m quite as brave.
WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU HOPE READERS WILL GLEAN FROM YOUR AWARD WINNING BOOK? That families can work through their rough patches if they communicate. Despite outward appearances, we still have our faults and our strengths, and working together can bring peace and success
IF YOU COULD BE COMPARED TO A WELL-KNOWN AUTHOR WHO WOULD YOU MOST WANT THIS TO BE? In a couple of reviews my writing has been compared to The Narnia Chronicles and my favourite - The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I love his writing and was thrilled to be compared.
IF A CLOSE FRIEND OR LOVED ONE WANTED TO WRITE A BOOK, WHAT GREATEST PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE THEM? I would tell them to write as often as they could, take classes, find a writing group to support and encourage. My groups have been invaluable to my process.
CAN YOU OFFER ANY ADVICE FOR WRITERS ON HOW BEST TO PROMOTE THEIR BOOK? Start before the book launch and drum up anticipation.
WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST LITERARY ASPIRATIONS? To complete the Secrets of the Home Wood series and start on other stories gathering momentum in the background.
TELL US SOMETHING PEOPLE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU THAT THEY MIGHT FIND INTERESTING: As a late-bloomer, I really started living and experiencing life when I was in my 40’s: I learned to water ski, I got married in my 50’s and we adopted our teenage daughter, and in my 60’s I became a grandmother, learned to scuba dive and published my debut novel! It is never to late to do what interests you.
DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW BOOKS IN THE WORKS? I have the Secrets of the Home Wood sequel in the works. It is called The Stalker. My next book carries on a couple of months after the story of the first book. It will be on Amazon and Kindle.
LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org