1. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I enjoy reading (that is a given), quilting, and touring, especially in the mountains.
2. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I track my word counts completed each writing day, and I try to reach a goal of 2,000 to 3,000 words per day when I can fit in a whole day devoted to writing. When I really need to buckle down and finish a novel, I move my laptop to the loveseat in my bedroom and work in there.
3. Do you have any suggestions to help budding authors become better writers? If so, what are they?
First, you need to find a writing set-up that works for you. You do not need an entire room for an office, unless you have the extra room and that is your thing. I sit on a couch or loveseat and prop a laptop on my knees to write. I keep my physical research books and notes organized by writing project in baskets I buy at JoAnn’s. When I am not using them, they are on a bookcase or credenza. When I am using them, they are on the couch next to me. I use T.V. trays for extra “desk” surface. Will that work for everyone? No. Find what works for you.
Second, give yourself permission to devote time to writing. Your writing is just as valuable, if not as profitable, as salaried work. It is okay with God to develop the talents He gave you, even if it means you sometimes need to occasionally say “no” to others (especially outside the family) who make demands on your time.
4. Where do you get information and ideas for your books?
Sometimes my story ideas are prompted by the theme of a book series for which I am writing. Sometimes my research exposes me to new information that gets my mind working. Sometimes I’ll visit a historical locality or read something and think, “Hey, I could turn that into an interesting story.” I get the nugget of an idea, chart/calendar things out, and then the characters in my story tell me how the plot is going to progress no matter what I originally had in mind.
5. What do you think makes a good story?
Besides a good plot, characters and setting, I want the story to include some decent ACTION. Every story needs real and believable CONFLICT. He loved me yesterday—oh no, today he doesn’t, so what can I say or do so tomorrow he loves me again? No, no. To me, that is not action or meaningful conflict. Even a romance reader like me who knows the story will have a “happily ever after” ending, wants to have the hero and heroine get into some kind of trouble—often at the hands of others—that leaves me asking, “How are they going to get out of that mess?”
6. Tell us about your favorite summer vacation? Or what do you like to do in the summer?
For several summers, hubby and I have toured the Western states with an RV. A couple of years we took some adult children and grandchildren. The grandkids quickly learned if they vacation with grandma, they visit historical sites, museums, and book stores. I also like to work in some book events or author conventions.