Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
All of my life I have been developing my God-given gift of writing. Even before I could read,
I would produce scribbles on a page and “read” stories to my grandmother. I have written in all sorts of formats — poetry, essays, research papers, articles, grants, short stories, and (most recently) novels. I have always been touched by people and their stories. At various points in my life, writing has served different purposes. It has allowed me to convey my hopes, dreams, opinions, and thoughts in an effective manner. It has allowed me to process my own story, as well as the stories of others. It has helped me in many practical ways — there are so many opportunities and considerations I have had simply because I could write!
From a resume’ standpoint, I have over 20 years experience in the non-profit industry — primarily in leadership positions. I have a B.S. in Psychology, a B.A. in English, and an M.A. in Psychological Services – Counseling. I am currently in the dissertation process for my Doctoral Degree in Public Administration. Following a bout with urachal cancer, I have prioritized writing and publishing, along with development of contracted services to the community.
Tell us about your books.
So far, I have independently published two books. The first book, Releasing Me, is a fictional memoir based on true events. This book follows Meredith Pearson’s 10-year journey to recovery from child sexual abuse. The second book, Valley Voices: Poetry that Speaks to the Soul, presents poetry that I have written over a lifetime, with deep, sensitive, and diverse topics and themes.
How did you go about getting published?
I have self-published my first two books. I had written the first one over 10 years ago, and put publishing on the back burner as we moved a couple of times and I was engaged in other activities. Now I am prioritizing writing.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
I tend to write on my laptop, which is perched on top of a television stand. I tend to write all day — for one organization or another and then for my personal use. And of course, I like to accompany writing with a nice cup of coffee. As far as projects, sometimes I ponder a topic for a while and then write. Other times I pull together old writings, edit them, and transform them into fresh pieces. Sometimes I have extensive research related to a topic that must be completed before I write.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
I have a job in Development for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Virginia. I also am involved with several non-profit boards. I have 2 children, a husband, and a dog. I like to complete craft projects, work on my house, and travel.
Any advice for authors about book covers?
My first book is my own concept. My second book I used the resources available on CreateSpace. I think it’s helpful to have your own concept, but definitely transform it into the most professional presentation you can make.
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
Research, research, research info and resources that may assist you. Don’t fall prey to overpriced and ineffective offers. Keep an organized log of your information and resources, and plug away. The web can be overwhelming — take breaks from both writing and marketing. And finally, get used to the idea that this is an important process that will likely take up significantly more time than it actually took you to write the book.
What’s your favorite book?
The Little House on the Prairie series is my life-long favorite.
What are you reading now?
I’m supposed to be reading “Bowling Alone”, which is relevant to my dissertation.
What’s your next book project?
I am intending to write books in as many genres as I can. I like to be diverse! So I have a few ideas, but for now, am working on marketing for the 2 books I have out.