Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
I was raised in a small town in Tennessee that you’ve never heard of. I still live in that same small town. People never knew anything about Bolivar other than it was home to the huge state mental institution. People still don’t know anything more than that.
I’m married to a great guy, and we have four pretty great kids and an adorable granddaughter. We’re owned by two mutts that we are happy to have as our family. We camp. We travel. We want to be beach bums when we grow up. That’s us. We’re the great family with the weird last name that nobody can remember or pronounce.
So far, I have 22 books published. I have no intention of stopping any time soon. There are so many characters that need to be introduced to the world. That is what inspires me.
Tell us about your books.
Most of my works are nonfiction. I have a series about a magazine published by the army during World War II. It’s pretty popular. My latest book, Takaani, is a horror novel. After working with nonfiction for so long, it’s nice to let some of the characters tell their stories.
How did you go about getting published?
I’m not a patient person. I never even considered submitting to traditional publishers and playing the waiting game. I know a couple of authors who had terrible experiences with traditional publishers and ended up paying big sums to buy back their rights. One of them started self-publishing her books and hasn’t looked back. I decided I would rather retain complete control of my work. You can’t do that with a traditional publisher.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
I just write. I write whenever I can find time to sit down with the laptop. Sometimes I take time and outline a story if I know how I want it to end, but haven’t figured out how to get there quite yet. If the story is complete in my head, it just pours out onto the page.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
For me, writing is a full-time job. I am always working on something. Still, I have four children, two dogs, and an adorable granddaughter. I enjoy spending time with them. My husband and I travel. We camp. We always have something to do. My days are pretty hectic.
Any advice for authors about book covers?
I like to have at least two designs, and I tend to pick a favorite. I will poll friends and family for their opinion. I generally go with the most popular cover.
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
Put your work out there. Put it everywhere you can. Most of us are introverts, and marketing isn’t easy. Do everything you can. Make the time to promote your latest book. It’s your baby. Don’t neglect it. It deserves your attention.
What’s your favorite book?
That’s tough. I have eclectic tastes and I have read a lot of books. There are so many great books out there. I like a lot of Stephen King. I’m a big fan of any work by Shakespeare. I’m partial to the classics, and I could read many of them again and again.
What are you reading now?
I’m not reading anything. I am trying desperately to remember the title of a book I read two decades ago so I can reread it.
What’s your next book project?
I have a plot I’m working on. I’m trying to get it all together in my head, but I’m not focusing on it completely right now. For the moment, I’m taking a short break to let the last set of characters move out of my head so the new group can move in and tell me their stories.