1) Your Journey as an Author…..My journey as an Author has been amazing. I need to kind of answer this question and the next one together. What reading means to me… Growing up I had severe dyslexia. I read way under grade level for all of elementary and middle school. In high school I read my first romance novel. I was hooked. By my senior year of high school, I was in a AP English class reading without problems. I have had the honor to speak to many people who have dyslexia and letting them know that it doesn’t need to stop you. It doesn’t mean you will never learn to read. Becoming an author, I have been able to reach so many others and hopefully show them anything is possible and with a good book and a little imagination, you can read anything.
2) What reading means to you.....
3) Whats next for you.....What’s next for me is to finish the Sign of Love Series which will include four books altogether. Book 1 Silent Burn (Now Available), Book 2 Silent Distraction (Releasing late July or early Aug. 2016), Book 3 Silent Protection, and Book 4 Silent Forgiveness. From there I am hoping to next year attend book signings, I love meeting all of the readers I believe that’s my favorite part of being an author. Then continue with encouraging those with dyslexia to never give up.
1) Your Journey as an Author…..My journey as an author is something that began when I was a young child. I loved making up short stories for my family and was even given a typewriter for Christmas one year. My earlier writings mainly consisted of fractured fairy tales and fan fiction, but I never imagined writing something that I’d release publicly. I got sick at the end of 2013 and had to undergo major surgery in early 2014. I was meant to stay home and recuperate for six weeks, but I went back to work after two. Instead of being released at my six week appointment, I was given two weeks of bedrest. I moped about for a couple of days, but then poured all of that emotion into my book. It took another two years to build up the courage and release it. I sent it to a couple of people who I knew would give me honest feedback and to my surprise, they loved it. After that, I began researching how to self-publish. The rest, as they say, is history.
2) What reading means to you.....Reading to me has always been necessary. It’s always been a nice escape from reality. I started at age six or seven, reading Calvin and Hobbes, and wishing that I could live next to a kid as cool as Calvin. He obviously wouldn’t have agreed, as I’m a slimy girl. I was a voracious reader from then on, devouring books weekly. In junior high, I read Gone with the Wind in three days—the book is around nine hundred pages. And just like that, I found the romance genre. In high school, I would save up money for mail order Harlequin romance novels, envisioning myself as the heroine. I’ve found that I’ll read just about any genre as long as the story is good. I read the Shopaholic series when I was struggling financially, and I loved that Sophie Kinsella wrote a character I could relate to on many levels—I may, or may not, have had a shopping addiction as well. I like books that leave me with a “book hangover,” where I cannot stop thinking about the story for days after and I wonder how everyone around me is going on with their lives.
3) Whats next for you.....The next thing for me is to release the conclusion to Elizabeth’s story in From This Day Forward. Forsaking All Others is already being written and will be released in July. It’s important for me to leave my main character with a happy ending. In a life where nothing is guaranteed, it helps to know that our favorite fictional character will sort things out and live happily ever after. I am also working on getting the audiobook version released late summer. From there, I’ve got several other stories that I’d like to get on paper and see where they lead me. I know that regardless of what I’m writing—I’ll still be chasing my two crazy boys around the house, cuddling with Mr. Elvis the dog, and getting butterflies when Mr. Myers walks into the room. It isn’t always pretty, and at times it’s a bit chaotic, but this life is better than I ever could’ve imagined.
1) Your Journey as an Author…..A multi-generational poet, I have always enjoyed the beauty and flow, the cadence and flavor of words. I remember lying upstairs in the old farmhouse, snuggled down in a feather bed, buried beneath layers of homemade quilts. Fully awake, I would listen to my family, their voices drifting up to me through the heat vent in the floor. I enjoyed the music of their speech, the meter: the up and down patterns and the inflections and tones of each individual. Many of the patterns were the same. But some had moved away, as my mother had, to the “big city” and her speech had changed – evolved. Mawmaw: “Well, I’ll red up the table.” Her voice is deep in her throat, resonant and rich. Mom: “Okay, Mother.” this said much lighter and higher in the throat. Aunt Louise: “Fetch them dishes on over here, Mam-maw.” Like Mawmaw, she speaks deep within the larynx, emitting the same sonorous sound. Beautiful! Exhilarating! Who could sleep with this verbal lullaby just one floor below? With this wealth of dialect and poetry surrounding me, it was no wonder I became a writer. What else could I do but scribe the music of my family’s voice?
2) What reading means to you.....Reading has always been essential to my life. At first it began out of curiosity, and I started to read at age five. I simply wanted to know what was in books. Later, as my life became a struggle to survive, I read to take myself away from what was happening to me. In a book I could be safe and loved, enjoy sumptuous feasts, fly on the wings of a bird and be free! My journeys through books kept me sane and kept despair at bay. When I moved out of my parent’s home at 17, three weeks after graduation, I began to read, not only to assuage feelings of loneliness, but to again feed that hunger to know. I even read an entire encyclopedia set, including the medical section! Finally, I reached a point in my life where I simply read for pleasure, for the privilege and the joy of it. When I finally made it to college at age 30, I took all of the literature courses I could, and an entire new world opened up to me. To this day I consider a library to be a banquet hall and the books within a feast.
3) Whats next for you.....I have begun the sequel to Spirit Woman, titled Brave Heart Woman, which will focus on Rosie and her daughter Shelagh. Brave Heart Woman takes off where Spirit Woman ended and readers of the Cedar Woman Saga will learn what happened to Nickie Bahiti Greene the main character in Spirit Woman. I am also working on Memories of an Old Farm House which is a micro memoir about the memories of my family’s ancestral farm, a cook book called Christopher’s Family Cook Book, which will include recipes from Chopped Champion Christopher Thames and Chopped Junior Champion Daniel Kligmann, and am now promoting my latest release, Swinging Bridge, a memoir told in a collection of articles, excerpts from my award winning memoir Son of My Soul – The Adoption of Christopher, essays, short stories and poems.
1) Your Journey as an Author…..It all began back in 2013, the day that I found out that I was going to be a father. Something clicked in me, spurred me to want to write things down. I started to write a diary to my unborn child(ren). Then I caught the fiction bug. For years, ideas for stories had formed in my mind, by-products of movies and TV series I had watched or music that I had listened to. What emerged were three short stories, which eventually came together to form the main thread for The Wildermoor Apocalypse trilogy, beginning with 'Acolyte'. I continued to write on my lunch breaks and then decided to participate in NaNoWriMo in 2014, to bring life and - hopefully - closure to 'Acolyte'. I completed my 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo and finished the story in January 2015. Fate would then take control in the form of an ad that appeared on my Facebook from Bloodhound Books, asking for submissions. I took a chance and the rest is history. Thankfully, they liked my book enough to take me on at the first attempt and published 'Acolyte' at the end of June 2015. Since then, I have completed work on another three short stories (more novelette-length) which comprised my first self-publishing release, 'House Of Courtenay'.
2) What reading means to you.....Reading is my means of escape. Not that I ever want to run away from the life I have; I would never give that up for anything. But after the usual stresses of the days, being able to lose myself in someone else's world for a few hours, or even minutes, helps me relax. Reading is also the main source of inspiration for my own writing, as it is the most powerful tool in getting my imagination flowing.
3) Whats next for you.....I am currently preparing for the release of the sequel to 'Acolyte', called 'The Sowing Season', which will hopefully be released at the end of April. I have decided to self-publish this title also and am so proud with what I have been able to produce this time round, and how the story of The Wildermoor Apocalypse is developing. From there, I will be taking a break from writing before returning to conclude the Wildermoor series with the third and final instalment at some point in 2017.