When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first manuscript?
I dabbled with writing a romance novel for years, but I never got past the first chapters. I signed up for the Master Class – James Patterson Teaches Writing on a dare from my husband. It was just what I needed. I don’t know why I had never considered starting from an outline for all of those years. I already used outlines for the classes I taught. I even had an outline for my camping equipment. Took me a month to create and refine that first outline, and then 4 months to write the first book. Once it was revised a couple of times, I submitted it to an author friend who suggested that I really needed to submit it to Solstice Publishing. She was right!
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
Friends who have read the first two books keep telling me that they hear my voice as they read. When I taught, I used a lot of real-life business experiences to highlight the concepts presented. I do some of that in my writing as well. Having been both single and married more than once over my seventy-three years of life has given me lots of stories that are fun to share.
Where do your ideas come from?
I learned to ride a motorcycle at age 55, which seemed like a good place to start for that first book – Red Helmet on a Motorcycle. It took me a long time to decide on just the right bike, and yes, my helmet was red.
For book # 2 – Red Hard Hat in Construction, I had owned a mortgage company years ago and worked with a number of construction companies. It was easy to see the scenes and the people in my head including a memorable crew foreman, a very flirty owner, and shirtless young men on a hot summer day. I never seriously wanted to kill an ex-husband, but really thought it might be appropriate for a friend’s abusive husband. She was able to convince him to change his ways.
Please tell us about your latest book.
My work in progress is book # 3 in the Red Hats in Love – Red Baseball Hat in a Forest Fire. I made my granddaughters wear red baseball hats in airports so I could spot them which lead to the first part of the title. Although I am no longer living through forest fires, we had close contact with them more than I would like before my move to Texas. Now my former students think I might be a witch (I’m sure that is the correct word) as they are dealing with even more aggressive forest and range fires.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I will hopefully still be alive and writing. Grandma Moses didn’t get serious about painting until she was 78, so I can’t really consider myself a late bloomer, but close. I’m having so much fun with the characters I create, I really don’t have any plans to stop. I have outlines for at least three more books with the concepts for a few more floating in my brain.
If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?
I’m a retired college instructor, so I’d really need something more to occupy me if I weren’t writing. The restoration on our old house took the first five years of my retirement, but it is almost completed. Once the Covid – stay at home has passed, we hope to pack the 2 cats, fat old dog and the energetic puppy into our 19-foot camper van, and hit the road to visit friends and family. I just couldn’t imagine spending more that two months on the road with that herd. That means writing will stay my focus.