at age four, I’ve lived high adventure: scuba diving, mud football with my brothers, rappelling, and even riding a retired racehorse at full gallop—bareback. I love the thrill and joy.
Tell us about your writing – What genre do you prefer to write? What books, stories, other publications that you’ve written are your personal favorites? Anything new coming up?
I write YA Fantasy-Adventure and Fairy-tale Retellings.The King’s Trial is my debut novel. I’ve written it’s sequel, The King’s Shadow and it comes out this autumn. I’m currently working on a retelling of Vasalissa and Staver, a Russian fairy-tale.
I also write poetry. Last November I decided to do something crazy and write a grateful poem for each day of November. These poems helped me gain a better perspective in the crazy times of the holidays. I hope to do it again this November.
East of Apollo’s Palace is my short story retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon. It is available to my newsletter subscribers.
What about you as a person? What do you do to relax? Favorite movies or tv shows? Hobbies?
I’m an introverted, book loving, tree climbing, recipe experimenting, homeschooling, mother of six.
I write to relax and I have proof of its effectiveness. Last year I developed inappropriate tachycardia. When I write my heart rate goes down to a good regular rate, instead of spiking all over the place. So writing has replaced many of my more active fun and as a result you get The King’s Trial.
I also read to relax. There are so many good books that I rarely take time to watch a movie. Though I thoroughly enjoy Pixar and Studio Ghibli.
– Concocting new varieties of salads so we don’t heat up our house. We have no AC, so it is a fun challenge in the summer.
– Reading to my children, using all the character voices. Right now we are reading Dealing with Dragons, by Patricia Wrede.
– “Geeking out” with my husband—talking about fun, random happenings and deep, philosophical ideas.
Other hobbies that I haven’t done in a while but I’d love to do again:
– scuba diving
– horse back riding
– climbing: trees, fireman poles, mountains, rock walls, etc.
OK, I’ll admit, I still climb, and I’m careful to not stress my heart.
What gets your creative juices going? Do you write to a music, and do you want to share your playlist?
I live with a vivid imagination. I dream in 3-D, technicolor, and occasionally with my eyes open. This is a bane when it comes to nightmares. I will not watch horror movies. This same imagination makes writing easier. I not only see, but also experience what I’m writing. Some nights I wake up with whole scenes playing through my head, vivid with setting, dialog, action, and emotion. I scribble furiously in the 2am glow of the kitchen nightlight, then catch some more sleep.
My other creative jump-start is talking out story ideas with my husband or my writing friends.
I sometimes write to music. I like several Bach and Mozart play lists. I can’t listen to anything with words.
All writers must have cats, especially if they write fantasy or speculative fiction. Do you have a stand on this one? Any cute pictures of your kitty or other pet?
I certainly prefer cats to dogs. But if I could have any animal, it would be a horse. Sadly my husband is allergic to all animals and I love him more than any pet. We have one outside cat, Ebony, who is our mouser extraordinaire.
What organizations do you recommend for those wanting to become writers? Any advice you’d like to share about writing?
Find some beta-readers or a critique group. Writing is a very personal endeavor but beta-readers help me see my story’s blind spots and they also help cheer me on when I’m in a writer’s slump. You’ll need the support and the perspective to go from amateur writer to published.
What writers inspired you to become an author?
I love the adventure of reading JRR Tolkien, Lloyd Alexander, John Flanagan, and Shannon Hale. I also love true stories. I think those inspired me to write even more than the fictional ones. Here are some of my favorite true story adventures:
The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom
Little Britches series, by Ralph Moody
Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story by National Geographic Learning
The Long Walk, by Slavomir Rawicz
Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention?
Not yet. I am working on getting an audio version of my book. I plan on doing author visits at the local libraries when I have my paper-back version published.
If you could travel to any time in history, when would you visit?
I’d love to travel to the Renaissance and talk with Leonardo Da Vinci about some of his drawings and inventions. Or the Golden Age of India—that is a fascinating period of time.
If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? What food would you serve?
He makes me laugh. He also isn’t particular about food. He’d be happy with a wrinkled apple or porridge, as long as the company is pleasant. I’d serve a chicken-bacon-poppyseed salad and fresh baked sourdough bread slathered in butter with grapes to the side.
If you could travel anywhere, on earth or off, where would you go?
I love the Japanese culture and especially their gardens. I’d spend whole days in Japanese gardens, just soaking in the peace and beauty of them. Then climb Mt Fuji. I’d love to cycle around the country side, past the rice paddies, through the forests, and to the ancient temples. When our children are all grown up I’d love to spend a month or more in Japan with my husband.
What color would you wear if you had only one choice?
It is a soothing color and neutral enough to work for hard work, play, and more formal occasions. Plus certain blues bring out the highlights in my eyes.
Describe your dream writing spot.
A shaded spot by a stream where the gentle chuckling of water over stones and the breeze playing with the leaves overhead fade into the soft background of creating worlds. It would be perfect as long as it was also mosquito free.