About The Author
Where are you from?
That’s a good question! My dad worked for the government, so even though he was out of the military by the time I came along, I’m what we called a ‘government brat.’ We moved every four or five years—which is nothing compared to military families but it still gave me an education about the cultural diversities in different parts of the country.It seems like I identify with every single place we’ve lived in one way or another, but my roots are in Portland, Oregon.
Tell us your latest news?
Let’s see—my son is coming home for Christmas? ;) Oh, you probably meant what’s my latest news in my writing career. I’m finishing up the third book in my Book Barn Mystery series, it’s currently titled Perilous Poetry.My editor came up with the title, and I’m kinda digging it. My second book in the series, A Reference to Murder is due out in May, 2017.
When and why did you begin writing?
I read a lot as a kid and when my family traveled, or moved, we would people watch. We’d make up stories about people we saw, or we’d run into characters who were larger than life. Like the time we were having breakfast at a Holiday Inn in the Mid-West. There was a drunk sitting in the corner booth with his arm around a woman.His voice was good, but gravely as it carried through the entire restaurant. My mom was more concerned about trying to block our view of the couple getting to know each other;) With four kids, it wasn’t an easy task. And when she said something to the waitress, we found out he wasn’t just any drunk, he was Johnnie Cash. That sent my sisters into a whining fest to get his autograph. My parents, however, insisted they leave him alone. So, with the aid of the waitress, my eldest sister settled for the spoon Johnny used to eat his grapefruit.
That’s a story I can’t make up, but I found I could make up who the woman was and how she came to eat breakfast with Johnnie Cash. I must tell you; my childhood version was much cleaner than what I would write today;)
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I didn’t ‘identified’ myself as a writer until my second book, Dead On Arrival, A Malia Fern Mystery. But even today, I hesitate when people asked what I do. I normally just say I’m retired. If my hubby is with me, he steps up and tells everyone who will listen.
What inspired you to write your first book?
A golfer? Yup, you heard it here. I didn’t play golf, or even watch golf, but back in the days of my teen years, you had to get up off the couch to change the channel. So, when Wide World of Sports changed over golfing, I sat in my chair and fell head over heels infatuated with Seve Ballesteros—and a romance was born.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I always try to adapt my style to the character’s point of view. When writing romantic suspense, I base the dialogue on my experience in law enforcement. When writing my Hawaiian mystery, I try to instill the island flavor and folklore into my novels. In Fatal Fiction, I had to adapt a southern flavor. I’ve used more turn of phrases in one book, than I have in my entire life. But it wasn’t easy. I take voice notes when I hear something unusual at the store, or when talking to some of my friends who arenative-born Texans. And sometimes I just talk to my character, Charli Rae, and ask her what she would say. Her favorite cuss wordis, “Fuzz buckets.” Where that came from—I have no idea. She said it, and I wrote it.
How did you come up with the title?
My wonderful editor Martin Biro;) The first title was Books to Die for… but that was over used and there were a few to die for’s that had already released in 2016. Martin’s choice was perfect! Again;)
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Talk to your loved ones. So much is lost because of pride and stubbornness. Communication is becoming a lost art in our society; we are happier if we talk to each other and forgive one another. And laugh at yourself and the stupid mistakes you make—we all make them—enjoy them.
What would you like my readers to know?
I write to make people smile, snicker, hopefully laugh out loud. I write because when I was going through the roughest time of my life, an author made me smile. I write because what else would I do at 3am, when my brain won’t shut up with that brilliant idea for a scene—sleep?
Please.Sleep is for the sane, not the writer. ;)