1) First, tell us about yourself – where you live, your family, and those sorts of details.
I live about an hour or so in various directions of Chicago, Madison and Milwaukee; close to cornfields but far enough from any big city to be far from the chaos. I’ve been with my wonderfully indulgent husband – who still accepts my nerdiness and book worm habits – for twenty-three years. I work, I write and I hang out with my family. It’s all rather boring actually. Saturday night usually consists of dinner, a couple hours of writing or reading and, as it’s officially been dubbed ‘Stupid Movie Night,’ where I choose yet another stupid movie to torture my husband into watching with me.
2) How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was a kid, really. Poems, mostly. There was, of course the odd song or two when I thought I should be a rock star. Since I couldn’t sing my way out of a box that was a pretty futile idea. The stories eventually came.
3) Do you have a favorite place to write?
I have this great office all set up. The shelves lined with books for research on magic, weaponry, mysticism, gods and the occult. I have about seven different types of dictionaries and a couple different sized thesauruses. I usually end up on the couch with my laptop. I can block out pretty much anything around me if I find my zone.
4) Why did you decide to write A Walk in the Black Forest?
I think initially I started to write A Walk in the Black Forest just to see if I could. I’ve always loved to write. Getting it published was a step in taking a chance on myself. Sometimes you just have to take that leap of faith.
5) Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
In A Walk in the Black Forest, I’d probably choose Rosalynn. She’s loosely based on a friend of mine that I adore. She’s caring, giving, snarky and whimsical with an edge of craftiness. Some might call it witch craft, but others consider it a gift. Her bold, stalwart heart is what makes her a strong figure in the life of the young warrior that rears.
6) How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
I don’t think there is a least favorite. Every character serves their purpose in a story. Even the most repugnant. Like all things, the dark and difficult has its purpose; to try us, to tempt us, to make us stronger. To teach us things about ourselves we may not have known. Without the bad, good cannot prevail.
7) Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
Good grief, no. I’m probably the worst speller in the universe. Just because I know the word I want to use and what it means, doesn’t mean I know how to spell it. Reference the seven dictionaries mentioned above. And don’t even get me started with commas, semi-colons and the like.
8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I hang out with my husband and kids. And I’m a new grandma so that’s pretty exciting. I read or watch movies. I go shopping with girlfriends. It’s all rather mundane actually. Such is the glamorous life of an author.
9) Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
If I’m not writing then I’m usually reading. I don’t generally watch TV so you can usually find me with my face in a book. I have tons of favorites depending on genre. Ann Rice, Laura K. Hamilton, Mary Janice Davidson, Christina Dodd, Patrick Rothfus, Joe Abercrombe, Poe, Bukowski, Billy Collins, Mary Oliver, John Amen, Kris T. Kahn, Donna Grant, Laurann Dohner, Marissa Chennery, Moira Rogers, RG Alexander – the list is truly endless. Large Press, Small press and Indie authors. There are so many choices – it’s a wonderful time to be a reader.
10) What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.
Wow, that’s a tough one. Perhaps, ‘Is it necessary for a bad guy or guys to die at the end?’
I think once you get through the plot twists and turns and the story takes you to a place where the bad guy or guys are finally being revealed that it’s a necessary component for evil to be punished. What that punishment entails is ultimately up to the bad guy. How they are confronted with their villainy and their response to it in the eyes of the hero, well, that too is up to them. I don’t think that meekly being hauled away in chains is in the make-up of a bad guy. It’s like a code. Good conquers evil. Light over-powers darkness and all heroes win in the end. Where would Happily Ever After be if someone changed the ending? Perhaps that’s a question for another story. One only the right character can tell.