About The Author
Q: Where are you from?
A: West Texas. I was born on my grandparents’ farm in Lubbock County, Texas, and I grew up on a farm/ranch in Bailey County Texas, a county in far western Texas named for one of my ancestors who died at the Alamo. You will notice I do not name a town. I was not born in town and grew up thirty miles from the nearest town.
Q: Tell us your latest news.
A: My latest news is that I just finished a mystery for my publisher that is quite different from the Gladstone mysteries. The new one is set in modern times in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which is near where I now live.
Q: When and why did you begin writing?
A: I can hardly remember not wanting to be a writer, except for a brief period when I was in the third grade. I decided then that I would be a librarian because I thought that all librarians had to do was sit in the library and read books and stamp dates on library cards people checked out. I soon learned there was more to being a librarian than that, so I decided to be a writer. Like most writers I was a voracious reader, and that often leads to writing. As to why I became a writer, it must be because I liked finding my way through the tangled web of a story and decided to try to tangle my own web.
Q: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
A: I began to consider myself a professional writer while I was still in college. I majored in journalism and wrote for the college newspaper. My plan was to have a career as a journalist and then write novels. I have stuck to that plan.
Q: What inspired you to write your first book?
A: As I have suggested, my love of the written word inspired me to try my hand at it. My first book was very poorly written. When a friend asked to see that original manuscript, I couldn’t find it. I’m convinced that is Freudian because I didn’t want to see or allow anyone else to see that awful attempt.
Q: Do you have a specific writing style?
A: A writer who writes long enough eventually develops a distinctive style; however, it seems to me that the style is more easily identified by readers than by the writer herself. If I were to attempt to describe my writing style, I would say it is somewhat lyrical but tempered by a journalistic discipline.
Q: How did you come up with the title?
A: For this particular book, I came up with the title The Curse of the Ninth Daughter. My editor didn’t like that title and wanted me to come up with something similar to the last Gladstone book which was Medium Dead. I wrote a list of six or seven possible titles, one of which was For Dead Men Only. That came from the fact that the book deals with the Free Masons, which is an organization for men only. I liked that best of all the possible titles, and so did my editor.
Q: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
A: One of the most important messages in this book as well as all the other Gladstone novels is that the role of women in society has changed over the years, but the change has been slow and at the expense of many sacrifices.
Q: What would you like my readers to know?
A: I want readers to know that I need, I love, I crave feedback. I want honest opinions of what readers like or don’t like about my work.